I caught myself in a cranky funk the other day.
I was driving to the store, mumbling under my breath, having to explain to Fo, my four-year-old, that Mommy was just talking to herself. She’s in that fun, “What did you say, Mommy? Why did you say that, Mommy?” phase. It keeps me mindful (usually) so I try not to lose my patience and thank God for the reminder that little ears are listening.
This particular day, cars were being silly. Cars, mind you, not their drivers. That would be personalizing the grumbling a bit too much. Lights weren’t working in my favor. I was hungry and breaking every grocery shopping rule (kids needed naps, I accidently skipped lunch) but it needed to be done. When I finally reached the entrance for the store parking lot, I turned right and was blinded by the sun.
I sighed in exasperation and thought, “Someone should really do something about that.”
And, thankfully, I heard myself in that moment and was appropriately ashamed.
Did I really just get annoyed that someone hadn’t thought to find a way to block the sun so that I wouldn’t have to squint into it?
In my grumbling-frustrated-at-cars-not-people-and-now-put-out-by-the-SUN-state, I had somehow become an entitled princess. Anybody else have moments like that? Or is it just me? Moments where pet peeves become something that everyone else needs to be aware of so they can stop bugging you?
That sun thing was silly and ridiculous, but it made me aware of my thoughts the last few weeks. How often do I sigh and say something “informative” to Mr. Riehl so that he will stop doing something that bugs me? Do I really need to ask him to soak his cereal bowl so that I don’t have to (effectively treating him like a child) or do I see that as another way to love on my family – joyfully?
I see this trend on Facebook, mostly with grammar issues. Have your friends fallen into this as well? The belief that everyone needs to be schooled on the appropriate use of “there” “they’re” and “their” or “your” vs “you’re”? Sure, it can be cringe worthy when someone uses a word incorrectly. Absolutely I’m embarrassed when I’m in a rush and either I write the wrong one or my phone changes it for me –stinkin’ auto-correct!
But, regardless, is this really a loving, appropriate thing to correct our friends on? It’s a Facebook status, not an English paper. And, correct me if I’m the only one, but we all have made a fool of ourselves at one point or another on facebook. It’s just not that hard to do.
My point in mentioning this and the sun thing is this: we have all together become much too important to ourselves. Why on earth did I immediately become annoyed that the sun made me squint? Because somehow in the huff of my attitude and day, I decided I was too good for that. I don’t believe I was actually thinking that, but my reaction shows my inner heart. And my inner heart has become all too consumed with myself. My pet-peeves, my time, my hopes, and my desires.
When I look at Jesus’ 30+ years on earth as documented for us in the Bible, I do not see a man that had no time for people. People clamored, and questioned, and followed, and begged, and bugged, and asked, and scoffed…He always, always took the time.
He pulled children into His lap, never shooed them away because He was too busy.
He healed the sick, even touching those that were oozing with open sores.
He took time to love, and serve. To set us free from slavery, to pay the wages for our sin. Which should have been enough, right? But He took years and years of selflessly loving on His people first.
And I doubt He ever corrected their grammar.
Yesterday in church we read a passage from Matthew 24 and my heart settled on verse 12 (Jesus is talking about the end times and days to come): “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.”
Ouch. That described me more than I wanted it to. I may not be out doing obvious lawless things, but what is the source of lawlessness? Self importance? It is for me. And when we are consumed with self, our love for others quickly grows cold. And what kind of people can we be when love grows cold? I don’t want to continue on this path to find out.
Let’s be patient with one another. Loving. If someone is venting on Facebook, let’s not correct, but offer encouragement. If someone does something that just plain drives us nuts, can we overlook it for their sake?
If someone does something cruel and hurtful, can we make a choice to not let our hearts grow bitter, but hand over the hurt to the One that can handle all things–and give us His love for them in return?
Let’s swap out pet-peeves, lectures, and bitterness for the unmatched, never-ending, all-consuming powerful love of the One that swapped out our sin for His righteousness.