Matthew 10:14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.
This is not an easy verse for someone like me who believes in the goodness of perseverance. Never being the smartest or strongest or swiftest person in the room I always felt like the only advantage I might have to succeed was to hang in longer than others, to stick with it when others might give up (the proverbial tortoise in a world of hares). Couple that with a temperament that doesn’t feel comfortable with things being left incomplete and you come up with someone who will keep banging their head against the wall when a wiser person would have walked away. Perseverance is a virtue and one lacking in many people to their detriment. But stubbornly sticking to the plan at all costs may not be what God always wants. Here Jesus simply tells the disciples that if they aren’t getting through to people, move on. Wipe the dust from your feet, he tells them. It’s not necessarily your fault they won’t listen and there are others out there who will. Maybe no one said it but I bet someone was thinking, “No Lord, I can do this. I can get through to these folks. I can find the right words. I can break down the barriers. Just a give me more time. One more try. One more chance.” Notice all the “I”s. Yes, perseverance is a virtue and one lacking in many people to their detriment. But stubbornly sticking to the plan at all costs may not be what God always wants. It may be my way of proving my superiority but God might have other things in mind. Sometimes the right thing is to wipe the dust from your feet and move on. Is there something or someone in your life you are clinging to when you shouldn’t? Is there somewhere God wants to take you but can’t because you won’t let go of your need to succeed where you are? These are deep subjects for prayer; maybe for this week?”