It’s Sunday today, but the sermon for me was preached earlier this week.
As I was leaving a restaurant in Minnesota the other day, a very tall person with long straggly hair, baseball cap turned sideways and what I thought was a scowl on his face, brushed by me very hurriedly. I thought, man, where’s the fire? Immediately I passed a multiple of judgments on this guy. . What a rude, self important and unkempt person he is. Like a light switch being flipped, my spirit went dark and I was momentarily unreachable.
I came to find out, that as quickly as I had flipped that switch, I would meet with deep regret only seconds later. This because that young man, on whom I had made my pronouncements, had rushed by me not for impatience or impertinence…but because he was hurrying to hold the door for me. “Hope you have a great day, sir.” I was immediately filled with private embarrassment and guilt because of my reaction to this young angel. I thanked him and smiled a big smile, but my heart was heavy. When I got outside, I saw him sit down on a bench with his father. He proceeded to put his arm around his dad, smiling a big smile.. it was a beautiful scene. But as for me….I felt cheap. I don’t need to say more, because there are some things you can never retrieve.
It doesn’t take much to get me on my high horse. And how I love to shove people into categories. It’s so much easier or me so I can criticize without thinking. Of course I don’t let anyone see my unseemly constructs …that would be perception suicide. As much as I can, I let people see only my supposed, good nature, which is of course, a myth. A myth perpetuated because of a percolating ego known only to God and myself. All of these character impediments are quite hush hush…because I do have a reputation to uphold.
But all of this will be outed eventually. “For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.” (Luke 8: 17)
My prayer for today:
Lord, instruct me in Your ways of unconditional kindness, and show me what Your graciousness really means. Root out my judgmental arrogance and smug notions. Teach me your statutes in real time and real life scenarios as you did that day.
Wean my malevolent predilection, and lead me along the streams of love and benevolence. Most importantly, forgive me for continually excusing my sinful nature. May my reactions radiate a tender faith more and more each day. These things I pray. Amen
3 thoughts on “THESE THINGS I PRAY”
I’m actually grateful when my impatience, arrogance or bigotry are revealed so quickly because they are more stark and easier for me to see. For instance, if you had learned the next day that the young man was rushing to see his sick mom, you might have remembered your judgments but you could have played them down to a “well I misunderstood that one, didn’t I?” One of my favorites was the day after our last presidential election. I walked into Vanderbilt to my nursing shift early the next morning. The first person I saw was another nurse who wears her hijab to work. In my oh-so benevolent and wise Christian arrogance I said, “Can I give you a hug?” She said sure and as I hugged her I said, “I’m so sorry.” She looked at me kindly and said, “Oh don’t worry. God’s got all this,” gave me a sunny smile, and walked on. I’ve trued a couple of times to count all the judgments I made there but I keep coming up with different numbers.
Love you Greg,
Love you back, girl!!! ❤️
Thank you for sharing this! It gives me pause.
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