Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Things We Carry

Do you get frustrated with yourself, especially when you blurt out the wrong thing, or, believing you’re being forthright, take your words over the line hurting a relationship? I think that as a recovering choleric, that was the hardest problem for me to control. It took time for me to first of all recognize it as a problem, and then to get a Holy Spirit bit in my mouth.

I remember the years of struggling to grow while trying to build a career. Work ethic was never a problem, but dealing with the people I saw as obstacles frustrated me. I kept encountering people whose habits were counterproductive to my goals. It seemed for many years that people had been placed directly in my path to drive me over the edge. I saw them as the enemy, rather than recognizing the real enemy—often, myself.

What I failed to recognize was that the people in my way were the true part of God’s plan for me, while my aims and objectives contributed far less. It was the difficult co-worker who did not want to be a cog in my schemes that taught me to slow down and see her for her humanity. It was my ADD son who taught me that there are greater things to learn in life than facts and lessons learned by rote. It was a mentally ill relative who taught me that change is not always the goal, but living in the moment. It was my once-failing marriage that taught me that happy endings aren’t sensible while small daily triumphs gained in tandem bring long-term happiness.

John Lennon once said that life is what happens when you’re busy doing other things. God has taught me that those other things I spend my time doing will be enriched by how people are treated along the way. Each person I meet in some form or fashion has taught me something. I can’t take the fruit of striving with me when I die. It is people who are the only cargo allowed into and out of Spaceship Earth.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not us.”
2 Cor. 4:7