When I was a kid I’d get really, really angry whenever I couldn’t get my own way. I’d pout and yell and kick things. Then, if those didn’t work, to prove my point (and my intelligence) I would bang my head against the wall. Mom and Dad always responded in a caring and compassionate way: “Just ignore him and he’ll stop.” And I did (eventually).
I still have the days when I don’t get my own way. Sometimes I wish I could make things better by pouting or kicking a wall. Instead I do the mature thing and throw my tantrums internally. My attitude turns sour and it affects my view of everyone and everything around me. I grow jealous, envious, critical, cynical and judgmental. I give myself freely to the sins of disposition until I find myself all alone. “Just ignore him and he’ll stop” (hopefully).
The best days aren’t necessarily any better than the bad days. On the best days I still don’t get my own way. It’s just that my choices are different. I try to slow down. I try to be grateful. I try to consider others. When I walk in a room, I’m convicted that I should see the other people. I’m convicted that it’s not about me. If, or when, people rub me the wrong way I am reminded that we are all people who need God’s grace. We are all poor in some way. We all need Jesus.
The best days are when I gradually move away from myself and I attempt to serve others. Then in the midst of serving I soon realize that I, too, need help. I need God’s help. A few moments later I have forgotten what I was whining about because I’m with God and serving others. With God and serving others is a great place to be. These are the best days.
On the best days I find myself feeling closer to God. In fact, I realize that He never left me but was there all along. (Who knows, maybe He was ignoring me earlier because of my temper tantrum.) My whole perspective about life changes. In the stillness of those days — the best days — I hear God softly whisper, “It’s going to be okay. It’s going to . . . be . . . okay.” And that’s enough for me.
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