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The more concerned you are about you, the fewer people you will have impact upon“. -John Paul Jackson

This is a lesson I keep tripping over of late. Hyper-awareness of my failures has been stealing my presence of mind from the very place I was upset that it wasn’t in the first place. Yes, it’s a dizzying cycle 🙂

Not being ‘concerned about me’ (in the negative sense of being overly self-focused) opens us to being God focused and to truly loving others and ourselves. These things are of the utmost importance, as Jesus said EVERYTHING hangs on them (Matthew 22:37-40).

This reminds me of Jesus’ telling Martha that she was ‘concerned with many things’, when there was only ‘”One Thing’ that was needed‘”, which was ‘the Better‘ that Mary had chosen: to bask in Jesus’ presence and absorb all she could (Luke 10:38-42).

Like Martha, I’d been concerned with many things, about doing everything ‘right’. Not such a bad thing (although it could be rooted in fear and pride/being overly self-focused …) but the issue is that I was overly concerned, i.e., stressed out. And like Martha, this concern was having me miss out on the ‘One Thing’.

A friend put it like this: “By the time I was done preparing for my friend’s visit he had to go“. What a sadly ironic picture. How much of what we truly value has been forfeited because of misplaced ‘concern’ for that very thing?

One of the main ‘Things’ we’re here for is to impact others with the unique piece of creation’s puzzle we carry. We become that ‘piece’ that is able to connect with others as we become ‘peace-ful’ (no pun intended 🙂 ) – free from worry (concern, stress, whatever label you want to put on what is ultimately fear) and are able to focus on the ‘One Thing’.

Easier said than done“, you may be thinking, but it’s actually quite simple:

Jesus invites us to: “Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. (…) Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” -Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)

I’m amazed how this actually works (when I remember to do it!)

What about you? What’s your vision? Does your focus line up with it, or has ‘concern about ‘many things’ been keeping you from the ‘One Thing’ and the ‘Better Part’?