What am I doing? Feeling sorry for myself. Wishing I were there instead of here. Wanting the future to be today instead of tomorrow. Wondering why other people don’t step up to the plate and live more responsible and caring lives. Grumbling about all the things I have to do today just to get through the day. What am I really doing?
I’m telling God that what He has presented to me for today is not good enough. I’m blocking the opportunity to love from my life. I’m looking the gift of freedom in the face and saying no thank you.
Let me explain:
First, in feeling sorry for myself because I’m not exactly where I want to be in my life right at this moment, I am rejecting God’s path for me. If everything is exactly as it should be at this very moment, then I am exactly where I should be at this moment. And, in wishing I were somewhere else, I am missing the things that God is presenting to me today. I am missing the gifts He is placing before me – in the people I encounter, in the beauty of nature, in the feelings that arise in my heart when I hear the coo of a dove or see a thousand tiny buds on a tree just waiting to burst open with new life. In wanting to be on to the next job now or with the next group of people or at the next part of my path in life, I am basically telling God that whatever it is He wants to reveal to me today is certainly something I don’t need to know or accept. I’m relaying the message that the now He is presenting to me is just not good enough.
Second, in wondering why other people don’t step up to the place and live more responsible and caring lives, I am making myself feel better for everything I wrote in the previous paragraph by pointing a finger of judgment at someone else. Who am I to suggest how anyone else should be living their life? What do I know about the journey of the lady in front of me at the grocery store, or the guy who checks my bags at the airport? How dare I be so presumptuous to make up stories in my mind about the goodness – or lack thereof – of the people in the car that just cut in front of me in traffic? In having judgmental and selfish conversations in my own mind about people I’ve never met and will probably never see again, I am blocking the opportunity to show another the love of Christ – through a kind smile or by leaving a larger than deserved tip for horrible service. I am blocking the potential to brighten a dull day of an overworked cashier by handing back to them the lottery ticket I just purchased and saying, “Good luck! I really hope you hit the jackpot!”
Additionally, for those people I judge that I do know – why am I not loving them instead of judging them? Don’t I respond more positively to loving actions from those close to me than I do to judgmental statements they may make about how I am going about my business on a daily basis? Perhaps I need to tell the judgment committee that lives in my mind that it has been disbanded; and that the next time they try to book the conference room in my mind, I am going to get on my knees and ask God to book that space instead with His gracious acceptance and love.
Finally, when I am grumbling about all the things I have to do today just to get through the day, I am truly looking the face of freedom in the eye and saying no thank you! I get to sit in traffic and drive a car every day because I can afford to make payments on a car and I am not physically disabled in such a way that would keep me from operating a vehicle. I get to go to my job because I am employable and have been given certain skills that a company is willing to pay me to do. I get to clean the cat’s litter box because I can take care of a cat and afford to have a cat in my home. These are just a few of the freedoms that some people will never know – or once knew but no longer do. I don’t have to do any of them. I get to do them.
I didn’t sit down to write all of this because I thought I would post it so I could help others. I wrote it because I needed to read it! I needed to be reminded of these things. My human selfishness has been getting in the way of a lot of things lately. Mostly, it has been getting in the way of recognizing the gifts and lessons God has been putting in front of me today; of loving ALL of God’s children the best that I can no matter what I am feeling; and of accepting the freedom of living life and loving life in whatever I am doing or wherever I am going.
Right now, I thank You, God, for giving me the gift of words – words that fall out of my mind and heart and onto the page. I thank You for waking me up from my stupor of selfishness, if only just for this moment. It feels good to be renewed with You right now.
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