by Peggy Cunningham
In the early mornings, I sit down with God and rock a while––with a puppy on my lap. A puppy at our age––senior citizens? What were we thinking?
We didn’t plan on coming home with a puppy the day we went to buy our Golden Retriever a sweater because he’d lost all his hair from chemo treatments. I had wisely warned my husband that morning ––”Don’t look at the dogs for sale.” I should have warned myself! There she was, a Shih Tzu. Our Shih Tzu, Kelsey had been gone six years. Never another little dog again turned into right now, this little dog. We brought her home to Jake. I’m thankful I didn’t listen to my own advice!
Now there is a puppy on my lap again. One morning, as I sat rocking with Zoey, I read this in my Bible:
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations underway. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed––or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38- 42 NIV
Every morning, Zoey chooses to sit on my lap and rock for a while just to be near me. Maybe she knows I won’t be sitting much the rest of the day. When I finish my reading, she goes about her day playing, napping, and going outside. But before all that, she chooses to be with me. Yes, she chooses what’s best before anything else––times of closeness with her master.
Isn’t that what Mary did? She chose to let the unimportant things go for the most important thing–time at Jesus’ feet. Maybe Martha, like me at times, was overwrought because of going overboard with preparations, unimportant things. She had lost her perspective. She was focusing on the service rather than the One she served.
We face the same kind of choice. It’s about loving God, not our schedules or to-do lists. We try to plan the things, and then seek the kingdom. If we heed Jesus’ words and seek Him first, maybe our priorities will be different; those overwhelming details we once thought important will dim in the light of His face.
Today’s (puppy) lesson: Let’s not be distracted and settle for less when God wants to give us more. Loving Him first will always be the best thing!
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” Deuteronomy 6:5
About the author: Peggy Cunningham and her husband have been missionaries in Bolivia since 1981, where they work with the Quechua people and have a children’s ministry. Peggy is also a prolific writer. Peggy’s heart for children and vibrant imagination led the way to having two picture book series published, Really Rare Rabbits, and her new four-book series, Hooray for Holidays (releases quarterly in 2018.) She also writes devotionals for adults: Dancing Like Bees and a new one for women, Shape Your Soul, which will release in summer 2018.
Join the conversation: What things get in the way for you in keeping your focus on the Lord?