Monday, August 17, 2009
Being human isn't easy. We often think we know best and act as if our way is God's way, even when we don't consult God about it. We turn to our own resources and strategies to deal with life when life gets heavy. We allow our flesh to control our emotions, actions and reactions without including God in the mix, or at least leaving God out until we realize we can't do it on our own. Often times we simply react out of fear or defensiveness - we do not wait to shoot until we've been shot upon, rather, we shoot first before anyone else has a chance to get close. We resort to our own sinful tactics, often developed from our prideful ways, to detonate our anger upon anyone who dares to think about encroaching on our territory (work, relationships, family, philanthropy, sports) - we let our competitive nature, the one that demands we're to gnaw through any bystanders on our way to the top of the so-called food chain. We, after all, live in a world that doesn't tell us to act out of love or concern for others, but to simply take care of yourself, forsaking all others. "Do whatever it is to get to the top irregardless who you hurt in the process." Because, the world tells us, "it's all about me".
Today I was a witness of such villainy. I saw someone, for no apparent reason at all besides pure prideful defensiveness, unleash their fury on an innocent bystander. It wasn't pretty friends. The worse part, is that it made me feel like garbage and I was just in the room. The villain in question isn't an evil person, but today, this person let evil take over their better judgement. Worse yet, there was no apology, no amends.
I left the scene quickly and came home. I curled myself into my husband and cried. I'd never been treated in such a malicious way, all verbal cruelty, and I felt attacked. Worse yet, I was and still am, heart broken for the other person I was with. It's a dog eat dog world, right? So if we're all trying so hard to destroy each other on the way to the meaningless top, who will be left to celebrate with when we reach our goal? There is no doubt to me why people say its lonely at the top. It must be hard not to know who to trust and to have to watch your back constantly. I can't imagine how miserable it must be to sit and wonder day after day who will come after you next and to think the worst of everyone.
Today, this man lashed out. Out of anger, out of confusion, out of darkness? I don't know what caused the outburst, but I do know it was pure ugliness. It wasn't out of love, or compassion or even decent humanity. It was uncalled for. Why am I telling you about this? I don't know. Maybe I just felt the need to journal about today's events and how it made me feel. Or maybe I needed to share with you how deeply our actions and words impact others. Or maybe I just want to express yet again how priceless random acts of kindness are. You know, its a difficult world. I don't really need to tell anyone that. It's just that kindness can be such a rare form of human expression in some people's lives that to be a beacon of Sonshine is warming to both the giver and the receiver. I suspect God knew what He was talking about when we were told to live from love. Had this man today taken a few moments to breathe, to talk to the other person, to effectively communicate, to act out of love, everything would be different. Instead, this man caused great harm today.
There was a movie I watched a while back about a man who went to prison. While in prison, he felt a calling from God and not only gave his life to Christ but pursued ministry. Upon his release, he went to his father's old church to take over as the pastor. He had a mighty hill to climb in front of him. There is a scene in the movie where the main character is talking about what happened and why he was incarcerated. He had been joking around with a friend and said something smart. His friend reached across the table and slapped him in the face. There were women present and he felt his pride being severely attacked, so out of anger and without thinking, he got up to fight his friend. In the midst of the struggle, he noticed his friend had a knife. One thing led to another and they were on the floor. The next thing he knew, his friend was bleeding. In the course of things, his friend landed on his own knife. In the end, the main character went to prison for 15 years for murder. What he says next though, I found quite profound. He said that had he allowed for 10 seconds, just 10 seconds, he could have calmed down, he could have walked away from his anger and pride. That 10 seconds cost him 15 years of his life. 10 seconds is all it would have taken.
Maybe if that man today would have taken 10 seconds, he could have changed his random act of villainy into a random act of civility. Its not that hard to act how you're supposed to act. We must act Christ like and out of love, not react. PROACTIVELY AVOID REACTIONARY ACTIONS. Be mindful of who is in control of your actions...you and God or you and your flesh? And, when you hurt someone, apologize and make amends. Go the extra mile to avoid hurting people. We are in the business of healing not wounding. Also be mindful of who you project yourself to be. If you market yourself as a good person, understand that people will trust that is who you are. That doesn't mean you are to be a doormat, but a good person as often as you can be. And if you wear the badge of Christianity, understand that people are watching you and observing how you live your life and how you treat others. You are a living example to others. Make it a good one. And like I said, when you make mistakes which you will because you're imperfect, be a living example of goodness and love and reach out an olive branch, remove your pride so that you can ask for forgiveness and be a salve of healing.
Posted by Freddae' at 3:46 PM