I was humbled this morning. And it’s not the blatant humbling process I undergo on a regular basis when literally fall on my face and must somehow regain composure with a laugh to let others know the ER run is not needed this time. You see, my klutziness is a given. My defensiveness and inability to “let IT go for the sake of relationship” seems to “trip me up” and my deep, inner self-righteous self is left out there for all to see. And it is in this “pride fall” I lay today, causing me to wish there were golf mulligans (or do over’s) in real life.
Of course we were at the happiest place on earth, oh I just realized you might be thinking of something different, to clarify we were at McDonalds play place. I recognize my Mom points just went down the tube, but when the only other option on this rainy, no school day is cabin fever, there is no shame here to claim, “I’m lovin’ it”.
I walked in with my girl crew-one on the hip, and the school aged ones sporting an eclectic ensemble from Fancy Nancy Easter dresses to soccer socks with stars and patterns galore. My look was somewhere in the middle of these and so we were representing fashion at its finest people!
As the older girls ran to check out the tubes, the little one and I were on our way up to order my “lovin’ it” coffee. A haphazard looking man (finally someone on my same page) greeted us quickly with a, “If you could let me order first that would be great because I am late for a dentist appointment and I am only going to order an Egg McMuffin.” (I thought in my mind in response, “I am sure he thinks at the looks of our girl crew that we are going to buy out the place with happy meals, but little does he know the reality of my “one coffee please” order. He thinks he knows me and is judging me, but he has no idea. My mental defensives was on a roll in these couple seconds.)
I wish I didn’t have to use the “hind sight is 20/20” phrase so often. I wish the Spirit would speak with a little louder voice to overwhelm my flesh nature instincts. Ah but my pride. Gets. In. The. Way.
And so my response was the jaded, “I guess you can go, but all I was going to get was a coffee,” and my tone and walking away nonverbal language only lovingly complimented my words. Gotta love how I am the poster child for this verse in this moment-“let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Col 4:6. J Even as the words left my mouth I thought about the THINK analogy I use with my girls to check to make sure their conversation is, “True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind”. Talk about a Mom of the Year award for hypocrisy at its finest.
I have to say I felt bad but it was too late to do anything about it. But what happened next made me feel like the scumb of the earth. As I went to pay for my “1 coffee” order, the gal at the register said, “Oh, actually it’s free. The guy before you said he would pay for your “1 coffee”. Ouch. I was just killed with kindness-when what I really deserved was a consequence for my pride filled, defensive driven, grace lacking attitude and actions.
I could barely drink the coffee. I once again had been “tripped up” and humbled by my inability to respond out of the Holy Spirit’s fruit of “self-control, patience, kindness, gentleness”-I mean, just pick one and we would have been good to go.
But in our times when we trip up, mess up and fall is when we most need to look at the kind filled, grace filled face of Jesus. And understand “His grace is sufficient”. And He still desires to use us for His good purposes, in spite of our “falls”. So I picked my “shot to the ego” self up and went to the place I know I can always find Truth. Grace. And hope. God’s Word. Because at this pivotal point when I fail, shame is right there to suck me in. And take me down, down. But just like when sin and failure hit Adam and Eve in the garden and their response was to hide from God in shame, so this is where we still go today when we sin and fail. But we must fight this desire to hide in shame and look up to the opposite of shame, which is glory. Jesus came and died so we no longer have to live in shame, so why are we still “shaming it up when we should be glorying it up”!
When you are thinking shame, instead think, my God has given me glory! We are forgiven. Given grace in all the weakness. And sent out to continue on in glory, and giving glory to His Name!
And in that very moment we are running away to hide, God grabs our hand to stop the motion, and grabs us with two hands on our face, looks at us in the eyes, and says, my beautiful daughter,
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. Isaiah 60:1
And it is sitting in this true purpose and hope, with this book in my lap, that my heart, mind and spirit finds rest.
I wonder if a past “failure” or possible future “failure” is on your mind today. Will you bring it to Jesus, the grace giver, and receive His “always coming” grace? Will you sit with the “grace filled book”/the Bible today to enrich your heart, mind and spirit?
How can you extend grace and forgiveness, like Jesus extends to us, to someone around you who is more than “on the naughty list” in your book?
Talk with the Lord about someone you can “kill with kindness” this week as we contemplate on the kindness our Savior extended to us on the cross and continues to extend to us when we mess up?
© 2012 Standing on Peace