Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wasting Time No More

In my first year of college, a person went out of his way to Web post a derogatory term based on my looks, and then looked like a deer in headlights when he saw me walking towards them. If you know me well, there was no possibility of repercussion, but I did recognize who it was because I looked them up when I saw this original hurt. After enduring a school career’s lifetime of bullying, slander, and other abuse, I prayed about this chapter and decided to coin a new phrase. “I want to understand you, but it’s your issue not mine.” I was much different since grade school and high school, especially physically, but I used myself to help others not act on/blame others for past offenses against me. God revealed more about myself to me. 

I learned from other maniac behavior was normal on campus. One girl crossing the street got mad and decided to pound on my car window just because I was the closest target. She cursed me out for no offense. “I don’t appreciate the language,” She replied with an obscenity.  I didn't want to be like this person, but I felt I wanted to help her and others like her at the same time. 

I took this example, which kept me more focused on a path focused on God and away from hurting others. Residual love goes a long way, but I wasn’t worried about how other would react when I expressed my feelings. You cannot take attacks personally, you can only learn from it. At first, I also reflected on the time I felt I wasted. It’s God’s time not mine – a precious commodity. I’m here because of Him. That ole standard fear, awe, and amazement swept over me.
God made people, so why should I hate them? I may not like what they do, but they are on a journey too. “How can I help them?” is usually my first thought, but then I began to live in the moment more and analyze, stop and listen. What I originally perceived as wasting time was benefiting me more. I got a deeper perspective. I awed in the eclectic differences He makes in the world. I thought about why people reacted to me in certain ways and put up a mirror to myself. I said to myself things people did not have the courage to tell me.

One of the most prominent things was a Christmas concert at the church I went to at the time. My sister and I joined the holiday choir. We practiced and I enjoyed it very well. At the concert, I was suddenly told to turn around and hold the music for a musician. I was shocked. ‘I would have my back to the crowd…they wouldn’t hear my voice’ I thought. The same shock I felt when was called back to my grade school spelling bee after I had clearly won then “lost” on the word juice.

Then I prayed and reflected about their situation. They were in dire need and embarrassed to ask someone. I thought about why me…because I didn’t react loudly and with disdain. I wasn’t mad they took me from my spotlight because I was needed somewhere else – my basic, ingrained talent/desire to help other stopped me from shouting or glaring with anger. What seemed to be a slight at first, I took as a memorable holiday compliment. Is this assessment accurate? Were the people involved really thinking that? Doesn’t matter. God taught me more in that situation and I continue being receptive to learning from Him

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