Podium People

Psalm 119:36 “Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!”

“ I don’t know… I think I have to pray about it and see if I can get used to it.“ That’s kind of the way we left it.

Do you remember a few weeks back I talked about the, “Buffet versus the carry-in”? That’s what this conversation was about. The last few weeks, post Covid-19 lock down, has proven interesting. The church services have been shorter, not the length of time, but the length of the “message.” There’s more podium time for people to share their testimonies. That’s the part that I need to get used to.

I’ve shared with you that my daily devotions, part of it, is reading chapters of the Bible and then the, “what did you get out of it?” That’s the way church is now. We show up, they’re singing for a while, maybe a message, but then the podium opens up. People get up and share what God is doing in their lives. Some people get up weekly. Why? That one I had to ask myself. Honestly, though, shouldn’t we all be getting up each week? If we’re having our devotions every day, and God is speaking into our lives, shouldn’t I have something to say? Shouldn’t I be looking for the way He’s moving in my life? Shouldn’t I be seeing some sort of change?

Eric and I got into it this week and it was totally my fault. Of course, at the time I didn’t see it that way, LOL. Yes, disagreements do take two people, but life is “10% what happens to us, 90% how we react to it,“ Swindal. Eric said something, but it wasn’t the words that he said, it was the way that he said it. It was my choice how I reacted to it and I did a poopy job(Willow’s Grammy came out in that description). Shame on me! I had the power to encourage or to tear down. I flubbed it.

Joyce Meyer said something years ago, when Taylor was maybe in middle school. It stuck with me and continues to resonate in my mind. She said, “When we have a disagreement, look for something to apologize for. There’s something, even just one thing, that you could’ve done differently.“ She was right. Through Taylor’s middle school and high school years I used that premise. Even if she did some thing that rocked my world, I still looked for some microscopic thing I could’ve done differently.

The kids I used to teach Sunday School also knew my theme/goal in life, “Whoever apologizes first wins!“ I try not to let a wound fester. It’s hard eating crow, but what stands between me and my first bite is ego. It’s hurts even more when someone else may have thrown the first punch. Truth: I am responsible for my actions/reactions and the way I treat others. There’s no way around that.

At the time one of these “events” happens, however I completely justify my nasty response in my head. They hurt me, so that gives me some sort of “right“ to hurt them back. “I’m just defending myself,” right?

Psalm 119:36 “Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!”

This doesn’t say that I’m supposed to follow God‘s lead when everything is going well. I’m supposed to be following God‘s lead instead of thinking about myself. That includes when someone doesn’t treat me the way I want to be treated or the way I expect to be treated. Ouch! That one hurts.

Heavenly Dad has nudged me before on this one and is working on me, again, about my expectations. If I expect nothing when bad things happen, I would take them in stride. But I don’t expect bad things to happen. Truth be told, I expect people to be nice to me-butterflies and rainbows. When that doesn’t happen I sometimes get pinched. How ridiculous is that?

Honestly, if someone is having a bad day and are having a hard time “holding it together,” shouldn’t I be the safe place they can go? Shouldn’t I be the person they should be able to be ugly to yet be accepted wholly, completely, and loved without expectation?

When it was all over, I got out my knife and fork and took my first bite of crow. Eric deserved better. God deserves better. No, I’m not really much of a podium person, but I can honestly say I did see God work. Eric forgave me and still loves me, in spite of myself.

I need to sharpen my knife and have my fork a little closer for a quicker pickup. More than anything I need to be willing to pick it up a heck of a lot quicker than I did the last time.

Till next time: blessings!

Author: Tracy Cook

Widowed one week before our 27th wedding anniversary, Heavenly Dad continues to carry me, now blessing me with a second chance for love.

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