Monday, December 5, 2011
It's Up To Me
First, my verse for today:
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
I have been thinking lately about choice. Circumstances happen in our lives that we have no control over, but we do have control over how we respond to these circumstances and events. We may not think that we do, but we do. Other than an allergic reaction, we pretty much can work on our responses. I am really thinking about minor things here and how they can ruin a day. Minor things should not ruin a day. Minor things should not ruin a moment, but our responses can make this happen.
Now before I get into this I want to just say that I am not a grumpy person. I am not an angry person. I treat people nicely and I try very hard to be kind. I am however human and there are some behaviors that I have that bug me. I don't make people feel like they are walking on egg shells, but there are again, ways that I can respond to situations that I don't like. I hate that. I hate when a simple thing gets me grumped out. I especially dislike being grumped out by something that is really not important. Life is too short to be irked by trivialities like rude drivers (this is one pet peeve).
So here is my beef about me: I have been a grumbly driver. I think that this is a partly genetic thing. I grew up around grumbly drivers and so it is kind of a knee jerk reaction for me. Okay...I actually grew up around not just grumbly drivers but grumbly lifers. I don't spend my entire day moaning like Archie Bunker, but I can definitely feel put out by actions of others. I have also inherited a heaping spoonful of snarkiness. I can be a riot to be around when I get going, but...really feel that is not what I want to be. I do not want to be grumbly, snarky, and sarcastic even part of the time. Also, in my defense, I learned how to drive back East. I am a woman who spent more than half of her life living in Rhode Island and another large chunk living in California. During my more impressionable years, I grew up around hotheads. This is VERY apparent when I am driving and someone around me does something dangerous, ignorant, selfish, or just plain wrong. When a person drives badly around me, a little button inside me clicks on and I am suddenly overtaken with dropping my Rs and talking with my hands. I am suddenly this tough driving, talking chick, and really I am probably kind of scary to be around. At least that is what my cousin has said who actually gets all southern when she is upset. In other words, she sounds cute and flustered (picture her fanning herself with a hankie - not that she does that)...I sound like I just stepped out of the Jersey Shore and like I'm ready for a fight. I'm not, but yikes.
Where was I? Oh yes. I really want to stop these knee jerk reactions, because in the long run, they are only hurting me. When someone cuts me off, their day is not spoiled. They just jumped a full car length ahead in traffic and gained a whole 2 seconds of time in their commute. They are golden and feel that they have achieved some amazing thing. Me? I am grumbly...annoyed and experiencing a drop in my joy. A day that could have been great has now been given a big ole kick in the shins. I will also be giving a person who doesn't need it, my energy. They have just stolen my energy and attention. Positive or negative, I am handing it over to a creep who is careless and thoughtless. I am wasting my energy and my time. I don't want to live that way.
If someone does something that is ridiculous on the road, I am going to thank God for keeping me and other drivers safe. I will say a little prayer for that person. If this person is going to take some of my energy, it is going to be the energy that I choose to give and that is going to be blessing them not cursing them.
When I am feeling pressure or perhaps have a pile on my plate, I will thank God that I have a job. Thank God for those interruptions that allow me to extend His grace to others. I have been blessed to have a job that is part of a ministry. Every time God gives me an opportunity to serve, I will embrace it.
In general, life will be filled with interruptions. Time is going to be requested of me. Attention is going to be required. I will try my best to see these as blessings. See these as opportunities to minister to others and care for others. Spending my focus on blessing will take me out of my own head and into His plan.