What’s the matter with Martha’s part? This bible story has always bothered me. Someone has to do the preparation for the large crowd which followed Jesus everywhere throughout his ministry. Any successful event, whether it’s biblical or contemporary, has its support staff. Not only do we need Marthas, we need more Marthas! A wise man once claimed that Jesus’ every thought was, Others Father, Others. The highest form of service to others I know of is volunteering.So why then does Jesus clearly state that Mary had the better part? This story must contain some special importance because it is mentioned in three of the gospels: Luke, Matthew, and John!The answer can be found in an old saying. “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” I absolutely hated it when my mother said this to me, but now that I am older I see the value in her wisdom and repeat it. In Martha’s case we can adapt the phrase a little, “It’s not what you do. It’s the attitude you hold while doing it that counts.”Now it’s confession time. I have to admit it. Yes. I was a Martha. During the 20 years I spent in the Catholic Church, I was a compulsive volunteer. I served as a Eucharistic minister and later as a Sacristan. A sacristan is to the Catholic Mass as a stage manager is to a theatrical performance. I was behind the scenes organizing everything. I had to be certain that every item was handled properly in accordance with church law, that everyone was in their assigned places, and everything was generally ready on cue. At one time, I even held the keys to our church building and saw that everything was locked up afterwards. This was a heavy responsibility. It took up a lot of time. So much time in fact, that I never sat down during Mass. But I was doing God’s work, so what could be bad?My epiphany came at a busy church holiday. Mass was over and I was in the back room – it’s called the sacristy - where other volunteers were washing the vessels and cleaning up. It was a rare moment of peace after a hectic hour. I stood there exhausted. OK, maybe I was daydreaming for a moment. The last two volunteers turned to me and asked angrily, “What are you doing here?” What am I doing here? In a short few moments I went through all the stages of grief as described by Katherine Kubler Ross in her landmark book, On Death and Dying. First came disbelief. How could they insult me like this? Then came denial. I belong here. Next came the arguing with God part. But in this case I was arguing with myself. It’s my very important job and duty to be here at this moment. I had to defend or justify my being at that place at that moment. All this flashed before me, like they say your life does when facing the moment of your own death.Finally there was acceptance. It was a death of sorts. It was the death of my ego. It was a giving up or a letting go of self-importance. I realized in an instant that indeed, Masses would continue without me! I also knew that I had not actually sat through mass for a very long time. Either I was in the lobby with my 2 noisy children, or I was serving as Eucharistic minister and now I had been promoted to Sacristan. I was always busy.How much is too much? One drink, taken by itself, does not make you a drunk. But how many drinks qualify you as an alcoholic? Jean Nidetch, the founder of Weight Watchers, said that eating just one cookie was not what made you this fat. It was eating just one more cookie that created the problem. It was the accumulation of many cookies, or many drinks that created the problem. We all lead busy lives. There are many demands on our time, including: work, family, church, exercise, etc. This was unbalanced.While there was nothing wrong and everything right with any one of my jobs, taken by itself. There was something wrong with the combined effort. The cumulative effect was to leave me frazzled and debilitated. I worried constantly that something would go wrong, or that I would be responsible for its failure. I worried so much I couldn’t sleep for thinking about things. I was worrying about things that had not happened yet and might never happen. I needed to find balance in my life. Moderation in all things.Buddha advised his disciples to follow The Middle Path. In other words we are to avoid extremes. Whether to one extreme or another, the end product is an unbalanced life. “Hair of the dog that bit you,” is an old fashioned remedy for inebriation. Maybe the old timer’s had a germ of a very modern idea. While a lot of something is bad for you, a small or “moderate” amount could cure you. Rasputin, the charismatic and evil Russian priest, was said to have been invincible. Legend had it you could not kill him. To prevent his death he consumed a tiny amount of poison each day. This is said to have built up his immunity. I don’t recommend this to anyone, but it shows that even a moderate amount of poison can have good effects. The same principle is applied in modern times to inoculations. You are actually injected with a small amount of the disease in order to prevent getting a full blown case. Rudolph Steiner used the same principle as the basis for Homeopathic medicine. Those little white pills contain an infinitesimal amount of a substance which causes the same bodily reactions you are trying to prevent. A lot of small pox virus kills you, but a tiny amount immunizes you from the disease. A small amount of worrying is normal part of human life. A large amount can ruin your peace of mind.I needed to stop worrying! Often the most simple or straight forward answers to complex problems are the best. What may be done to overcome worrying? The answer may seem simple, just stop worrying. But it is often not that easy.