Daily Meditation: "Shake It Off" -- Friday, August 14, 2020
“Shake the dust off your feet…” - Matthew 10:14
When Jesus sends the disciples out in pairs to minister on their own for the first time, one of the things he says is if they find a town where they aren’t welcome, they should shake the dust off their feet and move on. Funny enough, for all of the wonderful and inspiring bits of scripture I’ve shared with people over 20 years in ministry, this is the one I think I’ve shared the most.
We often stick with things far longer than we probably should. From an early age we’re taught in various ways not to give up, to be strong, to stick with it. Yet, sometimes that gets us stuck in scenarios and in relationships that are no longer healthy for us. When we find ourselves in those spaces that drain us of more of our energy than we are getting in return and we know in our hearts that’s how things will stay, Jesus says it's time to shake the dust off our feet and move on.
This isn’t giving up, but rather living out a healthy spiritual discipline. After you know you’ve done all you possibly can to make something work if it still has a negative impact on you that should be telling you that it's time to make a change. If, like the disciples, you aren’t welcome, move on to the next village.
Yet how often do we actually allow ourselves this crucially important act of freedom from the spiritual, psychological, and sometimes even physical prisons that we keep ourselves in by staying in unhealthy spaces? We convince ourselves we can change, or change someone else, or change the situation. The stark reality sometimes is simply that people and scenarios won’t change, no matter how earnest our best efforts. When we know that in our hearts and minds (because sometimes they don’t work in sync with each other), the healthiest thing we can do for all parties involved is getting ourselves to better, more affirming spaces. Whether that’s jobs, relationships, organizations, social media, the amount of time involved in one thing to the detriment of another….whatever it may be...shake it off.
Take it from someone who’s still learning this but has also lived the truth of this; it’s hard, but you’ll be glad you did.
Loving Creator, grant us the wisdom to know when it’s time to shake the dust off our feet and the strength to move on to the next village.