Daily Bread July 17

What Matters Most
By Diane Maupin of Lee’s Summit, MO, USA

But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” —Luke 10:40–42 NRSV

Distractions! The bane of my existence!

Housecleaning for me sometimes follows a winding path as I begin one task and find myself working on something else in just a few minutes. Putting away clean towels leads to straightening out the linen closet and throwing out items that no longer are usable.

Wiping up a spill on the floor grows to a full-blown floor cleaning. Searching the refrigerator for something for lunch, I find unidentifiable, moldy items worthy of a middle school science fair project. Before long, a stack of emptied containers fills the sink, and I am washing down the refrigerator—and it is well past lunchtime.

Frustration results as unplanned tasks distract me from my plans.

Martha was plagued with the same problem. Distractions consumed her time and energy. Her many tasks overwhelmed her. Unable to let go of her household chores, she pointed her finger in frustration and jealousy. In her eyes, her sister, Mary, was oblivious to all the work she was doing, and Martha was upset. Jesus’ response was clear. What matters most is the message of the gospel, and sometimes we lose it in all our distractions. Mary had her priorities straight. There are many tasks—worthwhile and worthless—that can distract us from what is important. However, “the mission of Jesus Christ is what matters most…” (Doctrine and Covenants 164:9f).

Prayer for Peace

God of Wisdom, help us look to the life of Christ to find what matters most. Help us let go of shallow details that detract us from you and our mission of peace.

Spiritual Practice: Experience Congregations in Mission

Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 164:9a–d. Reread the sentence, “If you truly would be Community of Christ, then embody and live the concerns and passion of Christ.” List the issues you feel mattered most to Christ. Then list issues that matter to your congregation. Reflect on the similarities and differences. How can you help align the lists? Throughout the day, as issues arise, ask yourself, “Would this matter to Christ?”

Peace Covenant

Today, God, I will not let details bother me, but I will let what matters most disturb me into action.

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