In the wise words of a character in the movie Bambi “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”
That right there sums up why I haven’t written anything for a month.
What’s the issue? What’s my problem?
Well, it’s funny, because I thought the problem was with another person. This other person consumed my thoughts, I would sit and stew on how frustrating this person was….carrying my troubles to God: “Why must this person be in my life? Can I just pack up my family and move to like Costa Rica and live on the beach? Oh yes, God, I will be much happier then…”
At the “high point” in my quest to escape the presence of this person, I actually checked out homes to rent in Costa Rica. I quickly talked myself out of it, after all, my twins get sunburned really easily, and my husband is more of a “cold climate” kind of person, so this would be really an all-wrong-kind-of move….
Pathetic, right? “Man, this girl has got issues and is really judgey….get over it!” …you may be thinking to yourself.
But hold that thought.
As this person, who was bothering me festered in my brain, I began noticing that this person seemed to multiply. Suddenly, the same frustrations I was having with the one person, came out in the checker at HEB, or another person in my life, it was all over social media, then it appeared in the person next to me at the gas station —-What the heck??—-…..The same type of problem was popping up everywhere!
Shoot, it was in infestation! “Am I the only rational one in the world? I have to escape this place before me or my family gets infected with this horrible ‘disease.’ “
But hold it! The problem…the REAL problem…was sitting square right under my nose. The real problem, the real infestation, was me.
The issues that were popping up everywhere, that I was so clearly seeing in others, was exactly the thing that bugs me about myself.
Of course this realization didn’t happen over night. Three, 2-hour phone calls with a dear friend, two long phone calls to my mom, and countless hours of talking it out with my husband, I finally realized that: “the thing that bothers me about that person is, I act just like them. I have similar flaws; I have similar sins; I have similar annoying qualities”
Grrrrrr…… So, cat out of the bag: I’m not perfect! (LOL)
I read Matthew 7, and got stuck on rereading verses 1 and 2 about 100 times. “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless you want the same treatment….. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own.”
Dang, caught red-lettered!!!
The very traits that bother me about the frustrating people in my life, are the very same traits and habits I dislike in myself. When I realized that the root problem was ME, and NOT them, my heart softened toward this other person. Suddenly, I realized that this person was struggling in their faith, and rather than being frustrated with this person and wanting to move to the beach away from them, I should be praying for them. I looked on this person with love and compassion rather than frustration and anger.
I began to wonder: who else in my life have I tried to escape from? Who else have I cut ties with, when the problem wasn’t them at all? Who else….similar to my faults….needs prayer instead of distance?
Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”
James 5:16 “….and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
Following the path,