I realize that there is a time to cry and a time to mourn...and for those of you who are dealing with monumental issues...this post is not for you. This is for the rest of us who are in what probably feels like an alternate universe to you. We're the ones who are blowing our horns at stupid drivers and those incredibly annoying bikers who insist on riding on the no-shoulder two lane road with a 55 mile speed limit for which my town is named.
The many...the annoyed...the judgmental.
Today I was sitting in Sunday School and was convicted of a few things that boil down to the fact that I do not tend to follow the spiritual disciplines as I should. I read my Bible (often...but it is usually a devotional rather than direct immersion in the Word), pray (frequently...and most of the time when I am asked to do so for someone...note the use of the word "most"), and I try to serve when I can (although I'm best serving in areas that are actually helpful...which is cleaning up, organizing, planning, and anything involving paper or a computer). But in some areas...such as showing mercy or fasting...um, no.
Um, no...is a huge understatement.
I tend to be one of those people who can leave church all filled to the brim, and find myself sloshing over because some moron pulls out in front of the car. Oops...down to 3/4 full. Then I go to somewhere like WalMart...and find myself down to mere drops by the time I've waited two hours to check out and load my purchases into the trunk of the car. Quicker if it is raining, is above 80 degrees, or if - heaven forbid - they are out of whatever I've braved the wilds of WalMart to bag and drag home.
Apparently I'm not the most judgmental person about WalMart, though, seeing as there is an entire website devoted to the "People of WalMart" including some gems such as...
|No. Just no.|
|Brush...available on aisle 21. Or not.|
|This is why the rumors just won't die.|
Okay, so me going there with no makeup on is fairly tame, yes? Of course, if I do, I am 100% guaranteed to run into someone that I know.
I was convicted today in Sunday School that I need to be just a little less judgmental. Okay, a LOT less. But the truth is...I have always considered myself non-judgmental. And about most things I am. I realize that we don't see the world the same way, and that God is dealing with all of us on different levels all of the time. I have friends of all ages and backgrounds...and I'm blessed because of it. I don't expect perfection out of other people nor do I tend to assume the worst about anyone unless they have given me good reason to in our past dealings.
But just pull out in front of my car, name your kid something I can't spell, don biking shorts and a helmet and ride on Pike Road, or work in the service industry and fail to serve...well...
Let's just say that it isn't pretty. So much so that I refer to this as "going Towanda." Surely we all remember close encounters of the FTD kind from February 2011.
So, I've been challenged to stop myself in mid-judgment. To start recognizing that I have a tendency to do this that is so ingrained that I don't even see it anymore. I just respond in an unloving and unmerciful way in certain situations. Maybe not out loud...but definitely in my head.
Okay, and sometimes out loud.
I also realized that I don't practice the spiritual discipline of fasting...like EVER. That's because fasting involves not eating. I have to work on that one too.
That's my challenge for the week. To read my bible every day, be less judgmental, and to fast (one meal is about all I think I can handle at this point) sometime this week. Fortunately - I am on vacation.
What kind of moron plans a fast while they are on vacation?
See, that whole "judging" thing is a little tough to navigate, isn't it?
Don't answer that.