As John Ortberg concludes Chapter 3 of God is Closer Than You Think, he returns to the story of Jesus’ visit with Mary and Martha, reflecting that much of our life will be spent “in the kitchen with Martha”- the busyness of life. To be covered with the dust of the rabbi, we must learn to sit at Jesus’ feet even there.
Pastor Ortberg tells of the time he was flying to Edmonton, Alberta to speak at a conference. Since there was no direct flight from San Francisco, he would need to board a connecting flight in Calgary. As the plane was on its descent into Calgary, the pilot announced that the flight would have to be diverted to another city due to inclement weather. That city- Edmonton! Only one problem- deboarding was a violation of international law, so when the plane landed on the tarmac all passengers had to remain on board. After several hours, the passengers were allowed to get off the plane and wait in a holding area. As God would have it, the official in charge of that area had a daughter attending the very conference where Dr. Ortberg was speaking. He was processed through customs.
The key to sitting at Jesus’ feet is to accept our own slowness and persevere in God’s holy presence, to not, as Brother Lawrence states, “go faster than grace allows.” As the author concludes, while working in the kitchen Brother Lawrence was splattered with more than grease and flour. He was covered with the dust of his rabbi.