Martha and a Pile of Avocados

by Kathy Howard @KathyHHoward

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distresses. He caused the storm to be still, so that the waves of the sea were hushed. Psalm 107:28-29 NASB

As I pushed my cart through the produce section, the avocados caught my eye. I had only picked up a couple to inspect when it started. One, then two of the lovely green fruit began to roll from the top of the high pile. (Yes, an avocado is technically a fruit. I checked!)

By the time three of them had hit the floor, I knew I must take drastic action to prevent disaster. With arms open wide, I blocked the shifting pile with the top half of my body. With one arm and my torso keeping the avocados from falling, I repositioned key pieces with my free hand until the moving stopped.

Hoping the other shoppers hadn’t seen me laying on top of the avocados, I backed away carefully and casually moved on to the lettuce. But soon I heard a shriek and turned to look back. A surprised young woman stood next to what was left of the avocado pile with dozens of pesky green fruit rolling around her feet. Undoubtedly the person who stocked the avocados had gotten a little carried away. He or she had put way too many avocados on the pile. The fallout was inevitable!

Sometimes our lives are like that pile of avocados. We keep adding items to our lives and calendars until we have to stand on tip toe to put another thing on top: jobs, activities, sports, lessons, ministry work, friends, family, leisure.

We can’t possibly give enough attention to the really important things of life, because we are constantly chasing after the urgent things rolling off the pile. If we aren’t careful, the entire tower will shift and collapse leaving us standing in a gooey pile of guacamole.

Often, most of the “avocados” are good things. But trying to juggle too many avocados will derail the abundant life Christ wants to give us. Martha, the New Testament hostess, is a well-known example.

When Jesus visited Martha and Mary, Martha hurried around with meal prep and household chores while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to His teaching. Martha was flustered and upset.

“But the Lord said to her, ‘My dear Martha, you are so upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it’” (Luke 10:41-42a, NLT).

Jesus’ loving rebuke was designed to help Martha escape the tyranny of the urgent and discover the life of peace, joy, and purpose He offers.

Is your pile so full of good things that you can’t enjoy the most important? If you’re missing out on the best Jesus wants to give you, take control. Ask God to show you want should stay and what needs to go. Let go of the less important and embrace the best.

Martha and a Pile of Avocados – encouragement when life gets out of control from @KathyHHoward on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

About the author: A former “cultural Christian,” Bible teacher and speaker Kathy Howard now lives an unshakable faith for life and encourages women to stand firm on our rock-solid God. The author of eight books, Kathy has a Masters in Christian Education. She and her retired husband live outside the Dallas/Ft Worth area with their miscellaneous assortment of dogs. Find free discipleship resources on her website, and connect with Kathy on FacebookInstagram, or Pinterest.

Kathy’s latest book, “30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents” combines Scripture, biblical insight, personal experience, reflection questions, and prayer prompts to provide spiritual and practical encouragement to those caring for aging or ill parents.

Join the conversation: When is the last time you reevaluated your highest priorities in your life? Are you ruled by the tyranny of the urgent?


3 thoughts on “Martha and a Pile of Avocados

  1. sooo true and I will never look at a pyramid of avocados the same again. What a great visual reminder that will be to evaluate my calendar’s activities. Thank you, Kathy!


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