Monday, April 8, 2013

How My Chinny Mary/Martha’ed Me

Now that I’m working again, my schedule is much more regimented. I mean, I’ve got a certain amount of time in the morning to get my routine done before I have to go to the theatre, like any other normal human being I guess. *smiles*
Well, one of the things on my to-do list is to feed my little ninja chinchilla and clean up her palace a little bit. Obviously, it is important to feed her every day, but sweeping up daily is also important as she can drop 200+ fecal pellets a night! They don’t stink or anything, but of course we don’t want those piling up. Also, she chews non-stop, grinding some of her toys to literal dust.
Now, I’m a task-oriented person both in personality but also because I think in the 80s that was the most popular educational method and I’m a shining product of that. So more often than not, I am, I’ll admit it, more of a Martha than a Mary.
You know the story I’m referring to, right? If not, CLICK HERE. In a nutshell, Jesus visited the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus (yes, the guy Jesus brought back to life after he was dead a few days – but this occasion was before all that). Martha felt it much more important to spend Jesus’ visit accomplishing tasks while Mary felt it better to sit at Jesus’ feet – spend time with Him while she could – build a relationship with Him. And Jesus agreed with Mary.
Okay. So one morning last week, I headed into the task of cleaning Fi’s cage. A lot of times she is asleep by this time since she’s been up all night playing, so I can get the place cleaned up without her even waking. But this morning, she popped out as soon as she heard me and poked her cute little nose through the bars, which means ‘pet me’ and/or ‘hold me’. After making sure her food/water was sufficient for the day, I did open the door to scratch behind her ears. She climbed into my hands and laid down on my arm, her way of snuggling. Now by nature, chins aren’t really too snuggly. And with my increased work schedule, I’m missing the prime hours of the day Fiona may get snuggly. Usually by the time I get home, she’s hyper and awake and ready to play – NOT snuggle.
So she’s laying there and I’m looking at the stuff that needs cleaning – not badly but could use a sweep – and I figure with the time I have left I’ll need to split it between snuggling and cleaning.
My chinny had a different plan. When I went to put her back inside her house, she wouldn’t go. She climbed up more of my arm and buried her nose.
Melt my chin-mom heart.
I urged her to go another time, but no.
If I could put words into her mouth, I’d like to think she was saying – mama, forget the cleaning for this morning. I just want to spend time with you while we have a chance.
She just Mary/Martha’ed me.
So we snuggled. And I cleaned the cage later, like the next day I think. No problemo.
Society is so task-oriented, isn’t it? I know tasks need to be accomplished – cleaning, cooking, working, paying bills, mowing the grass, giving the car an oil change – I mean, necessary tasks are endless and indeed necessary. But as I mulled over the little moment I spent with my pet, it dawned on me that those necessary tasks are really just tools for – relationships. And in our task-oriented society, we have all but discarded relationships for the sake of tasks.
Maybe that’s what Jesus was trying to tell Martha that day. It wasn’t that the tasks Martha did weren’t necessary, but her heart focused on those tasks so keenly that she was sacrificing relationship. And in this case, THE most important relationship she’d ever have.
Perhaps this week we can try a different perspective. Yes, do the necessary task, but see them as tools – opportunities to build relationships with each other in the Name of Jesus. It may just be the better way.
Happy Monday, Dry Ground friends! Be blessed!
(photo by yours truly)