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The Upper Room Devotion for Wednesday, August 2, 2023, was written by Terry J. Burns of Florida.



38 Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. 40 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.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42 there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42



As my husband and I paddled our kayaks, we spotted fish swimming in the water and alligators sunning on the bank. Soon another kayaker maneuvered over to us and whispered, "Look! A manatee!" We marveled as a manatee swam below us. At that moment, three other kayakers came into view. One shouted, "I don't see any manatees!" Another shouted back, "Maybe they are farther down the river. Let's go!" They propelled themselves quickly through the water before we could alert them to the manatee's presence.

As we continued our slow river trek, I thought about those three people. Distracted by their efforts, they did not hear the hushed voices that led others to the manatee. They failed to notice us, still and quiet, gazing into the water. Later I wandered: How often am I like those kayakers? What acts of service go undone or prayers of intercession go unspoken because I am too distracted or too hurried to attend to the Holy Spirit's nudges?

There are times when we must make preparations like Martha. Like the three kayakers, we may find cause for forging ahead. However, Jesus values Mary's choice to listen. I hope to follow Mary's example and become a diligent listener - listening with my ears, with my eyes, and with my heart.




God invites us into moments of stillness, that we might silence the noise of our hurried pace and notice the majesty of God's presence. I invite you to re-read Terry's reflection and ask yourself: In what area of my life do I need to slowdown so I can hear God's voice of instruction?

-Pastor Anthony



Dear Father, help us to listen as we study your word, interact with your children, and seek your will. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

-Terry J. Burns


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