Thursday, August 29, 2013

#Life Interrupted. By Mercy

"Being critical of others and being a chronic complainer both come from searching for the negative everywhere you can find it. Even being thin-skinned and having feelings that are easily hurt means that you interpret other people's words to you in the worst way."  1

I was going the speed limit.  I was the recommended car length behind the person in front of me and there was no one behind me for at least 2 blocks.

So why did she feel the need to race up beside me and shoot herself between me and the man upfront?

I have no idea what possessed the maneuver, but my morning commute suddenly went sour in the first 10 minutes.
And hadn't I just prayed moments ago for God to anoint my day with a kosher mouth, and a gracious, forgiving and merciful attitude?

Not even 5 minutes on the road and already my spiritual gears are steering towards reverse with some not so gracious criticisms.

I have failed again.

Or have I?

Just recently a question was posed in my current on line bible study;  "Of all these fruits, list three that you want to focus on when you escape to the secret place with God this week." 2

I chose, and have prayed for gentleness, kindness, and love.

History has me taught that when I present a prayer before God, He listens, and I better be prepared to have my life interrupted.

Apparently the Lord thinks I'm related to Miriam.  He thinks I might have a grumbling problem.
I'm guessing a critical spirit and it's cousin, anger, are also on the line.

I have recently learned that Jewish culture so highly esteems the effort to judge others favorably that groups are formed for the sole purpose of "training" themselves on how to acquire the art of inventing compassionate excuses for peoples behaviors;

Perhaps that sharp tongued co-worker just discovered a spouses infidelity.

Perhaps that rude neighbor is deeply depressed, or suffers from anxiety.

Perhaps that person simply did not hear you.

Perhaps the car that cut you off is rushing to the bedside of a dying parent or injured child.

And so, the #Life Interrupted commute became an occasion to embrace gentleness, kindness, and love as I prayed for that person behind the wheel.

And that's not a fail. That's a #Life Interrupted. By Mercy.

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. 
But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, 
rather serve one another in love. 
If you bite and devour each other, 
watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Galations 5:13,15

1 Lois Tverberg, WALKING in the DUST OF RABBI JESUS,  pg. 110
2 Lysa Terkeurst, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WOMEN SAY Yes TO God, pg. 56