Tuesday, September 16, 2008

my anger and my shame

Never have I had negative thoughts about rec leagues or children's sports...until this evening. I was trying to get to the Y for my coveted workout with a close friend and my husband, and I was stuck in the parking lot, endlessly searching for a parking space among the rabid parents trying to get to their child's game on time.

This woman in a miniature blue car cut me off about 5 minutes into my search as we were both trying to go down an aisle to look for a space. No big deal. I keep circling...and circling...and circling. I call my friend and my hub to leave them messages while they are safely ensconced inside enjoying their workout, as I had finally given up after about 20 minutes. Then, alas, I see a space about to open up! I go near the space, turn on my left blinker to signal to the world that I am turning. The individual backs out, I get ready to turn, and guess who swoops into the space from the other direction?...The miniature blue car.

I lost it. I was so angry. She couldn't have heard me, and likely wasn't paying attention, but trust me when I say I was not heaping flattery upon her, and was behaving in a way that I can't remember behaving in over a decade. As I try and exit the parking lot, I pass her again as she is walking to her destination, and I make sure she feels the full force of my evil stink eye.
A space opens up just as I am leaving, I run inside, and catch my friend just as she is finishing up her workout. And I am hot! (as in hot-tempered :). I tell my tale to her and B, and my blood is just pumping.

Then, I get on the treadmill and run and zone out for a bit. And then, I begin to feel ashamed. How silly and small of me to lose it over something so minor. I prayed for forgiveness, for my mean thoughts and words, for exuding so much negativity.

Unfortunately, though such forgiveness is readily granted when we are truly repentant, there are some things that are not easily repaired. I was reminded instantly that what I did, besides acting like a fool, served to mess up my witness as a believer. How many of you know someone who has decided they did not want to have anything to do with Christianity because of one person's misrepresentation of it? How many of you are that someone? I know many. And I am sorrowful that I could be someone's stumbling block.

I'm reminded of the famous quote:
"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians - who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world finds unbelievable."
And also of Gandhi's quote:
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

But, gratefully, I am also reminded of a song by dcTalk I used to sing that reminds me of grace...: "What if I stumble, what if I fall?
What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble, and what if I fall?
...
I hear you whispering my name, you say,
My love for you will never change..."

3 comments:

Queen bee said...

Friend, I hear you...I've had numerous situations like yours happen recently. It is so humbly to be made so aware of our wretchedness! And then I hear J. Knapp in my ear, reminding me that His grace is sufficient...

I missed you at choir on Monday. I miss you in general, let's do something together soon. And I need you to teach me how to manage autistic behaviors soon...I got bit by a child on Monday :(

Have a good week!

Jill, Chuck, and Andrew said...

Do you know all of these quotes off the top of your head?

Jess and Brent said...

The ones in this post, yes. You know I love my quotes girl. And when something speaks to me, whether in song, or in others words, or scripture, I just brand it into my soul...that way it is there for me whenever I need it.