One Thing Is Needed

I've been playing tennis the last several weeks. Actually, I've played tennis since picking it up in high school, and I actually played three years of intercollegiate tennis at Freed-Hardeman (though my teammates would likely disavow knowledge of me actually playing). But I hadn't touched a racket in 10-15 years until recently, some 30 years and 30 pounds past my prime. I used to be one of those defensive specialists who ran everything down and kept the ball in play. I really should have developed a backhand, because I'm not running anything these days!

Back in the day, tennis was extremely important to me. I often played 3-5 hours a day during the season. And not only did I regularly squeegee water off the court after a rain so that we could "hit tennis," I once shoveled snow off the court! I never was really all that good, but I played all the time. For awhile, college was really just an excuse to play tennis, and I didn't let classes get in the way all that much.

Tennis was once a huge priority for me, and then for years it wasn’t even on my radar screen. That is the way it is with a lot of life’s priorities. Things like buying a car, getting a house, going on that dream vacation can seem to be the most important thing (or at least the most urgent thing) in the world… until they are not. Life changes, priorities change, and all of a sudden the things that once seemed critical are all but forgotten. We can spend so much of our time today focused on things that will be forgotten tomorrow. And sometimes in the process we forget what is really important. Jesus told Martha—

You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:40-41)


It’s not that housework wasn’t important, it was just that other things were more important. Martha was so busy wioth the urgent, she almost missed the important. There is nothing wrong with getting the house straight. There is nothing wrong with a new car or house or vacation. Hey, there isn't anything wrong with tennis! But if we aren’t careful, we may spend a lot of time now on things that we will learn later aren’t really that much of a big deal.

By the way, I didn’t play much tennis my senior year. The summer before, I paid a lot of my hard earned cash to a tennis pro trying to fine-tune (or find) my game. But I lost interest in tennis that last season. Why? I found something that was more important... and married her!