You would think that because I pastor sometimes moody and inconsistent teenagers that I would have hero-like stamina when it comes to my interactions with adults. But no, instead my sentiments to those over 21 is: You're grown! You should know better by now. You should know yourself at this point in the game, but instead you're drawing lines of division through your behavior without any sign of remorse. And it's killing vibes everywhere you go!
So clearly, you're seeing an area of my heart where I need to grow in grace and love.
And I'm quite aware that adults often don't know as much as they think they do, especially about themselves. And yes, I'd want grace and patience extended towards me, if I was the vibe killer in the story.
But as we wait for certain individuals to get a true touch from God, in that precious meantime, they continue to get on my nerves and irritate the life out of me.
Sometimes I just feel like telling them:
I'm agitated by your lack of stillness, your confrontational style of being.
You don't listen, you bark without hearing the completion of another's sentence.
You don't know how to receive love humbly. You only gain self worth and importance by proving that you don't need anyone or anything, and by making sure others stay in their place.
No one is allowed to shine around you, but you.
You've mistaken your appearance of love-looking actions as the real thing.
You force vulnerability on others, in order to subdue them, never offering a true vulnerability of your own.
Why must you act so friggin weird??
Your selfishness is nauseating, but we all smile around you, to stop us from slapping you. This is not a Pharisaical move completely, but rather, the immature level of our current love.
But then I realize...
They are afraid, just like I was. Just like I often am.
And oh, how the patience of God has rescued me a many times.
I would have lived in a cave of despair if it weren't for the kind intentions of God toward me, always at the perfect time.
And just as His hand has been on my life, His hand is on theirs.
Furthermore, I remember how David in the Old Testament, refused to talk dirt about King Saul, even when Saul went nuts and tried to kill David.
I think David understood something about pain, that made him sensitive to the heart of a deranged King Saul. And if you read the Psalms, it becomes apparent that David had a deep emotional range that shaped his heart as worshipper of God.
See, the fact that the one I dislike has the ability to irritate me, says something about me as well. Perhaps the need to control and provide a perfect atmosphere everywhere I go. Or that part of me that doesn't want to fully engage with pain. And with an interruption in peace, something in me gets scared, gets rocked. And my own strength proves to not be enough. This is a glorious and scary awakening.
"Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change." e.g. The root and history of someone else's behavior.
And its funny what God does then. I don't usually see a change in the person on the spot, but rather, there's an immediate change in me, in my heart.
Compassion where there wasn't compassion. Eyes that are more open than they were before.
And a trust that God will finish writing the story, if I will let Him.
Yes. I am responsible for my heart and my actions.
And you will be responsible for yours.
And that is where rest can begin. It's not up to me to fix and change every single person I encounter, nor do they necessarily want to change. And I must find rest in that, peace in that, and not hold resentment.
Wisdom would say, to love that person where they are at, but to love yourself just as much in the process. Which may look like not being besties with said person. And that's okay.
But never wish for harm to come to them, only the best, only God's best.
For we know, that everyone we meet is fighting a battle.
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."