Sunday, August 16, 2015
Saturday morning. . . . usually the same set of chores. Get up, go grocery shopping, go out for breakfast, laundry, cleaning, etc. I'm sure many of you out there find yourselves with the same schedule. Quite frankly, I enjoy the early morning rituals. Typically, I'm one of the first people at the grocery store. I enjoy having the store pretty much to myself. Those who start their day the way I do seem to enjoy the experience as well. There is much chatting about the fish, different recipes, etc. This past Saturday was no different. It was a great morning. Until . . . .
I was walking down the last aisle, deciding which check out lane I was going to go to. Then I heard it, a manager raising his voice to an associate. He was literally scolding this young man in the middle of the store, over how he moved a table. Obviously, the young man made a mistake. Yet, the way the manager handled the situation was difficult to listen to. It was bad enough that he was reprimanding the associate in the middle of the store, and to raise his voice. Yet, the thing that really stood out to me was the way that he continued to scold the associate, same message, over and over again. Eventually, the "episode" stopped. With groceries in tow, I left the store, almost in tears myself.
I can't help but think of the many times someone in power has intimidated me similar to that. Unfortunately, it happens. People who have the title "supervisor, manager, leader", feel as if they have some sort of power over another person and that gives them the right to treat others with no respect. Let's face it, it also happens in our homes and amongst our families. Certain folks feel as if they have the "upper hand" and ensure those around them know that. It is an uncomfortable situation and typically doesn't promote coaching or respect.
Let's think of the Almighty One, the One who truly does have power over us, the One that has every right to be intimidating if He wanted to be. I think of my life and how often I have disappointed my Lord, in my thoughts, words and actions. He certainly has the right to scold me, to reprimand me, in front of my family and friends. My sinful nature gives him full authority to scold me. Yet, His correction doesn't come in the form of scolding, yelling, or intimidation. His correction comes with love, support, guidance and a huge dose of forgiveness. He provides me a path to get closer to Him, realize my wrongs, and move on with my Earthly journey. He loves me as I am His child, but there is a sense of humility that comes with His power - one that gives me the joy of learning in His words.
As our verse for today shares, He values me and shows me the way we need to value others, ABOVE OURSELVES. To live with that level of humility helps us not to live in a prideful or selfish way. Think about Jesus' life. He certainly had the right to live with great selfishness and conceit. Not our Lord, He was the true picture of humility, from washing the disciples feet to dying on the cross for OUR sins. Let us learn from our Lord the way to treat people, with value and humility.
The grocery store? Well, I got in my car and just couldn't leave the parking lot. I called the manager and shared my disappointment with the manager. Yes, amongst tears flowing down my face, I shared with him that nobody deserved to be disrespected that way and that someone needed to let the manager know that there was a better way to handle the situation, to handle it with coaching, guidance, and a sense of value for others. I got off the phone, prayed for both of the men, and know that God will handle the rest! Pray for your own humility in every situation, whether it is with a co-worker, a family member, or a friend. Value others as our Dear Lord values us!
Dearest Lord, our days can be filled with many things on our to do list and situations can be very stressful, especially when someone may not meet our expectations. In those moments, help us to find humility, Jesus, as you showed humility to us. May we always value those who we come in contact with and enter situations with your Holy Spirit guiding our words and actions. Please give us the Simple Faith to turn to you before we turn to ourselves."