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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’?
Needed this message today. Thanks for sharing.
Claire Lemaire-Auger said:
Very True Hannah :-)) Thank you for sharing it! Have a great day XXX
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I’m actually doing a six week series of studies in an Everyday Faith Gathering that is based on those verses in Matthew 11 you’ve cited from The Message. “Re-Souled – Living More Freely and Lightly with Less Stress and Struggle as You Walk The Path of Life.” The “magic” is found in inviting Him to live His Life in us, through us, and as us. As someone said, “Martha was making sandwiches for Jesus that He didn’t ask for.” Although we are responsible for the stuff of life, He’s the One that makes us response-able as we spend long enough for the perfume of His presence to saturate our garments. Good post, Girl!
Thanks Gary! Cool that you are sensing something similar – we need so much to live more freely and lightly. Love what you said about becoming ‘response-able’ 🙂 He is so GOOD!
After giving your question much thought I would say concerning myself over my future has in some sense blurred my vision. Getting so focused on doing the things God has called me to but ignoring all that is happening now, in this moment! Because come to think of it, there is a lot of important stuff happening right now that God is doing in my life.
Some really good food for thought here Hannah! Thanks.
Glad it resonates Rolain. There’s so much wisdom in what you said about not ignoring what’s happening right now even as you prepare for the future. It’s so important to be present in every moment if we are to live meaningfully. I too have been working on this… Thanks for sharing.