Maybe you recall the lyrics to the song with the same title as the one above. The words were taken from the passage in Ecclesiastes which says on this earth, there is a time and place for just about everything people do. When it comes to sharing the truth of God, there is a time to persist and a time to walk away. God alone can tell you what He has in mind.
In one case, I’m shaking the dust off my feet. A part of what makes it appropriate at this time is the connection to Jesus telling that to His disciples. They were going to their own nation, their own people, and the obligations are different from when you go to strangers and foreigners. You expect a right to a limited hearing with family. Strangers owe you no such courtesy.
I’ve had my say with some family. They have rejected my message. I’m shaking the dust off. Not that I would quit praying for them, but on the level of human activity, there is nothing more I can do. By the same token, I won’t engage them in any discussion about anything else, simply because this thing remains the elephant standing on the splinters of the coffee table. Until this issue is resolved, there is nothing to talk about.
It’s not the same as being dismissed politely, or even laughed off. No, it was a vitriolic response, altogether inappropriate. Others involved simply goaded things to a higher pitch. I’ll be shedding their dust, too. This is not pouting, playing at some whipped puppy. I’m proud of my efforts, having done the best I could do. But no one should have to put up with me who doesn’t wish it.
Here and there among strangers, I am sure I’ll find a receptive ear, and there I will pour out the best I have to offer.