Contemporary English Version (CEV)
We always find reasons not to do the things we know we need to do. I can come up with 1,000 reasons not to go to the doctor, and it's amazing how long I can put off taking my car in for an oil change. If I've caused a problem, I'll spend a long time doing anything other than setting it right. I know what the next step is, but I come up with excuses.
Martha does the same -- Jesus is about to raise Lazarus from the dead, and Martha is worried about the smell. Sure, they trust Jesus... but that smell. Can't we put this off a little longer while we debate the smell?
Jesus is doing miracles in the world. He's transforming the world, one day at a time. This is a precious gift from God, and we distract ourselves from worship by finding excuses to do everything else. We don't take Bible study or prayer seriously because there's something else that needs doing -- and so we distract, we excuse, and it waits for another day.
Will today be the day we set aside the excuses?