CARING is a powerful quality. What we care about in our everyday lives does much to determine our own happiness and the contribution we make to our families and communities. But I must admit that sometimes professional responsibilities, earning income, completing the daily routine, and so forth tend to crowd out what I really care about, what I really want to give priority to. When I catch myself thinking like this, I remember an event in Christ Jesus' life as told in Luke.1 Jesus was guest at the home of a woman named Martha. She was no doubt honored to have Jesus as her guest and was evidently working hard to make the event a success. Yet one wonders what it was that she was really caring about on that occasion; the Bible records her as being ``cumbered about much serving.'' Martha complained to Jesus that Mary, her sister, who had been sitting and listening to Jesus, had not been helping with the serving. ``Martha, Martha,'' Jesus replied, ``thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.''
Shouldn't this ``good part'' that Mary sought govern our own cares and affections each day? We can't be sure of exactly what she heard the Master say then. But we do know that in all Christ Jesus said and did he taught of a loving God who created man out of His own goodness and love. Far from being eternally burdened with sin, fear, and self-concern, man in the wonderful light of his creator, is spiritual, free, and full of joy. Couldn't truths like these have been something of what Mary heard at Jesus' feet?
God's creation revolves around God Himself. He doesn't create man, then simply dump him to fend for himself! Since God's love is continuous and reaches everywhere, it is with man always -- leading, guiding, protecting, directing, providing. This is where the idea of God as our divine Parent comes from. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation.''2
We don't need to fear, however, that making this ``good part'' the center of our caring will result in the failure to meet our other responsibilities. When we think about it, Christ Jesus took on greater responsibility than anyone else ever has or ever will. Yet, through his own wholehearted reliance on his Father-Mother's love, he did what he came to do. Mrs. Eddy says of his life: ``Through the magnitude of his human life, he demonstrated the divine Life. Out of the amplitude of his pure affection, he defined Love.''3
Personal concerns often disguise themselves as the most urgent, when the truth is that there is something more urgent -- the peace and well-being that come from the God-centered view of our day and our lives. Jesus' words in the parable of the sower, ``And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word,''4 warn us of the task at hand.
The ``cares of this world,'' which Jesus described, reinforce the mortal view of life as separate from God, and of happiness as personal and often sensual. In fact, however, the life and love that come from God flow outward. Our lives -- when filled with God's life and love -- can become prisms for God's love as it blesses us and others. This is real caring! Though the flow is outward, we can't help feeling enriched!
1See Luke 10:38-42. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 332. 3Ibid., p. 54. 4Mark 4:19.