aka The Frazzled Mom
What it means to be a Christian to me…
“Look at my friend! She’s got a tongue piercing, and at least one tattoo. What about God wanting us to respect our bodies as a temple for Him? Or my sister, who isn’t paying attention in church. Can you believe it? She’s busy going through her purse, writing notes, texting or just plain falling asleep.”
I’ve heard it before, not just in church but everywhere. While I was flying home, I overhead a guy picking up on things I would do or say to another passenger. He took joy in it and his flying companion didn’t help. Why do this?
Any one of us might be (and are) guilty of judging others. We place labels on people and view them through our own personal experiences. Bad (or good) experiences tend to shape how we react to people/situations in the future. Is this wise? I think of quotes like, “One bitten, twice shy” or “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” And for the most part, those experiences, those life lessons help protect us. Get burned on a hot cookie sheet, learn to be careful around the kitchen when cooking. Cut a finger on a sharp knife, learn to use it and store it properly.
But when it comes to people, it isn’t always black and while. The hurts of the past are just that: of the past. One thing remains constant, one thing I can control, is how I react to those past hurts and how I will respond to ones in the future. As a child, I’d have “meltdowns” when someone took my toy. As an adult, I might have a meltdown if someone robs my home. But will it be the same? Hopefully I’ve matured enough to change my response. Not always though. Sometimes, for me, it’s good to just scream, shout and, well, cry it out. Hopefully in private, though! 🙂
I need to remember that in the presence of others I need to be mindful of how I act. If my flight is delayed, does it help to yell at customer service or the flight attendants? No. If someone runs into me because they weren’t paying attention, should I snap at them and tell them to watch where they’re going? It’s tempting. But as life goes on, I try to think of it this way: There’s always something going on in someone’s life. Who am I to think that I’m the only one overwhelmed or stressed? In fact, I’m certain now that we all are!
I remember hearing a story about someone in a Starbucks drive-thru. A woman cut them off in line. The driver’s hair was unkempt, dark circles around her eyes. Cries from a little occupant in the back seat could be heard. The person who was cut off could have gotten angry, laid on the horn or got out of the car and made it even worse. You know what that person did? Not only did she wave the woman graciously to pull in front of her, when it was her turn to order she asked the Starbucks cashier to add the driver’s order onto her own. Imagine that mother’s surprise, to find her order paid for. Now, she didn’t wave thanks or anything. She just took off. But the Good Samaritan recognized the signs: a stressed mom with a serious lack of sleep. She’d been there. So paying for the coffee, in a way, was like buying it for her past self, when she really could have used it.
I want to be that type of person.
So when I think of being a Christian, I think of being accountable for my own actions, the only ones that I can control.
I know that I’m where I am today and in the situations I’m in and with the life I’ve lead because of the decisions I’ve made up to this point.
I recall reading an article about a series where a woman sees a therapist about her not-so-great life. The therapist has the means to allow her to time travel. So she does. This patient travels back in time and changes certain events that she believes lead her to the awful life she was currently living. But eventually, she finds that no matter the change, life remains the same. Instead of being obsessed with changing the past, she learns from it to make a better future for herself.
I want to be that type of person.
I want to be accountable, for me.