Our perceptions often reflect our symptoms . . . Blindly we project, fault find and shame others . . .
(Photo by L. K. Craft)
My mind is peaceful as I breath in the beauty of the gorgeous day. Then all of a sudden, a car coming out of no where, cuts in front of me and forces me to slam on my brakes. All of the peace, beauty and enjoyment are now suspended . . . angrily I proceed to the supermarket.
As I shop, I shake off the residuals of that experience and reflect about my menu and the friends that are coming over. Selecting the perfect entree, methodically I find all the ingredients for my special recipe. The lines are long at the checkout counter. After ten minutes, I see the line is not moving. At second glance, I realize there’s a shift change and the new cashier is casually chatting with a customer as all of us in line wait.
Short on time, I grab the bags and rush out of the store. As I look for my car, I see it's blocked by a UPS truck. As I wait, I ponder the insensitivity of the missing truck driver.
Finally I make it home.
As I put away the groceries, I discover I'm missing a few ingredients and suspect the bag guy somehow screwed up. Fuming, I get back into my car. As I attempt to drive back to the supermarket, the traffic is barely crawling. It’s been a couple hours since I was upset with the guy who had cut me off on this highway. Now I am in the center of hundreds of people, in a huge traffic jam and again, I feel helpless..
I am angry, frustrated, disappoint, upset and outraged. All of the excitement of today has been shattered by consequences beyond my control. Inadequate, inept, disrespectful, careless people have ruined my day... At each point along the way, I felt personal disgust toward each individual that got in my way.
It all began with that man who cut me off on the highway, I judged him as a ‘jerk’. Then there was the cashier that was talking to a customer, I judged her as ‘irresponsible.’ The UPS truck driver, I judged him as ‘stupid and aloof’ for making such a poor decision of blocking my car. The bag guy, I judged as an ‘idiot’ for not getting the job done right. And now I judge all these people in this traffic jam as ‘crazy humans’ for choosing to live in such conditions. Everything about my life has been radically altered because of circumstance beyond my control. I feel helpless because I am forced to live at the threshold of other people’s actions.
Sitting in traffic my mind wanders... Being a Christian, I imagine I should have prayed for those that I would encounter today that would anger and upset me. I should have ask God to enlighten them so they could perceive things correctly like I do. I should have prayed for those that rub me the wrong way. You know, the ones that need to ‘buy a vowel,’ or ‘get a clue’ or those that need to ‘grow up’ or ‘take responsibility.’ Quite frankly, I should be praying daily for all that just don't get it, I think. I believe such praying would be out of pure compassion. Now my tormented mind thinks further, ah yes, my purpose on this earth could be as a missionary to the clueless. They would be so lucky that I care so much?
Isn't it surprising how blinded we become to the truth? We fault find, shame, blame, project, deny, and accuse everything outside our self for how we feel. Somet Christians believe that God has removed all their flaws and now they have a perfect vision of reality. But God doesn't remove our human nature, instead, He is an awesome resource to help us work through life's realities. When life is uncomfortable, first assess whether self-righteousness is in the drivers seat. Often, it is not about them . . .