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Try Again

But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; but only one thing is necessary; for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:41–42

I was not good to my people this week.

I was distracted by a to-do list and a sense of pressure and perfection that does not come from my God. I put the things of this earth above what He has asked me to put first. Love God. Love people. I feel very guilty about that. Very guilty.

I would love to say that I will never do it again.

But that would likely be a lie. Because in this earthly body, I fight the mouth of Martha and the panic of David and the hesitation of Moses. I am not in the arms of my Father’s perfection, but in the land of the world, fighting with all I have to do things differently.

While I live on this earth, I don’t have to play by the world’s rules, but I do deal with its triggers and constraints. I still have to deal with rude people and telemarketers and spam. I still have to get through the traffic when I am late. I still have to tolerate the imperfections of this life. Even more, I still have to tolerate the imperfections of the one in the mirror.

I am going to get it wrong. A lot.

And that is okay.

Yes, you heard that correctly. It is okay. There is nothing that comes as a surprise to my God. Not even my poor judgment and wayward distraction. He knew me from the womb and knows me still. He is very aware of my battle to be Mary with Martha’s drive.

And yet He loves me still.

And forgives me daily. Hourly. Yesterday, maybe even by the minute. He knows my heart. He knows my desires. He knows I’m trying. Let me say it again, He loves me still.

Yet even within all that wisdom, after all of that realization and reminder of how much He loves me, what I do next makes little sense. I won’t let go. I am going to hold on to my mistake, bring it up again and again, and shame myself for it despite the truth I know about the God I serve.

And that is not okay.

If I am really following His lead, that would include not allowing His mission to be hindered by what I am holding on to. If He has forgiven me these things, why have I not forgiven myself?

Why do I walk with my head lowered in shame for weeks and months over that one thing I said? Why do I continue to berate myself silently for the things I consider to be failures? That is certainly not how Jesus does things, so if I am trying to live like Jesus, when do I move on from the focus on what I am doing wrong and be thankful for what I am doing right?

I have no problem shaming myself for what I do wrong, but as I spend time telling others how much Jesus loves them, shouldn’t I be telling myself the same thing? When will I allow myself to be just as He made me, a humble servant living in a hard world in love with His creation? Especially since I am His creation too.

How about right now? How about today?

Today, I can try to love my Martha as much as Jesus does. Today, I can try to move on from the corners I have blockaded myself into. It is time for me to get out of the corner and sit at His feet. It is time for me to recognize what He asked me to be responsible for and what He did not. Today, I can try to remember He only asks one thing, undivided devotion. Undivided. He wants us on the same page.

Today, I can try to set aside not only the worries of the things I think are going wrong but also the worries of all I think I have done wrong. For those hinder me as much as the worries of the world. Today, I can try to not let those things keep me from loving God and loving people—and I can try to remember I am people too.

And tomorrow I can try again.

Dear Lord, thank you for reminding me how special I am to you. Keep my eyes clear from the lies that tell me I am not. Help me to see myself through your eyes, even on my worst days.

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Shannon Leach is a slice-of-life encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart and ARH Inspirations. Her authentic stories and books about leadership, life, and loving people focus on encouraging others and reminding them they are not alone. Her work can also be found in Guideposts and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is the co-founder of the nonprofit The Fostered Gift.

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.comThe “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

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