"there is need of only one thing"

At a birthday party last night I saw a guy from our church playing the drums. A guy who was also in a (sold out) dance show last week at the university here, and who is also studying to be an engineer. And he's good at all these things.

I found myself feeling untalented in comparison (which I probably am), but also wondering if I've been wasting my time and life by not doing more, learning more, investing myself in more things. Then I remembered this favorite story:

Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. 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." (Lk 10.38-42)

The Greek word translated "better" here (in "Mary has chosen the better part") also could be translated "good," or "joyful"--or "useful." All those would fit Jesus' meaning, I think.

I believe I am choosing that "one thing" to focus my life on (as anyone can, no matter how talented they are, or what opportunities they have). And this is all that is needed. But I think part of the focus on this one thing is doing it in a way that it's obvious to others that our life is focused on this one thing. To draw their attention to this one thing also. Mary does this in the story. Martha's not happy about it--but it does get her attention...