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Our recent trip to Canada, made me think of one several years ago. It was 2002, our second home leave from Africa. Home leaves are kind of big deals. You wait for three years (at least we did in those days), and the amount of preparation that is necessary is kind of overwhelming. It kind of involved two major trips rather than one, and preparations to be away from your home for three months. The first major trip was getting up to Ngaoundéré from Garoua Boulaï. It was often an 18-hour drive in rainy season, and one had to be prepared for everything, especially with little ones in the car. And then, all the security and procedures associated with travel through multiple airports…a lot to think about and a lot to do.
On this particular trip, we had occasion to ride up a gondola to the top of a mountain in Banff, Alberta. I wanted to show the kids snow, because they’d never seen it before. Even that trip was fraught with all kinds of arranging and planning (we went with another family), and so I found myself unable to enjoy what I was seeing. The kids were excited and running around all over the place, chattering loudly and happily. I’m not personally fond of heights, so there was that, too. All in all, I was distracted by so very much, by all the things that have to get done, that I feel like I missed the most important part of the trip. The discovery of children being on top of a mountain for the first time; seeing snow for the first time; riding a gondola for the first time; etc.
In our text this weekend, we’re going to hear about Mary and Martha, and how Martha became distracted with the things by which hosts are distracted; all the things that have to get done. Join us as we seek to disentangle the necessities of life that are often distracting, from the important things in life that we risk missing. The proclamation of the gospel and the all-sufficiency of God’s love, a message that the world desperately needs to hear, is lost in the clamor and furor of life, of all the things that have to get done.