Wednesday, August 6, 2008

ARROGANCE, Plain and Simple

Photo belongs to Photofig (away for a while)

Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. 1 Samuel 2:3

I was thinking back to a day more than a year ago when the Lord gave me an "object lesson" to think about. Mondays are not usually good days for me and that Monday was no different. The weekend had been hectic, I was still tired and my work around the house had piled up while I took the day off for Sunday. I had planned to fix our usual "Monday lunch"….beans, rice and cornbread…..which I make on Mondays because then I don't have to think about what I'm going to cook!

But then I remembered there was okra out in the garden needing to be picked. The dog needed to be fed. Clothes needed to be washed and dried. Phone calls needed to be made to check on my Dad and his doctor visits. (Dad passed away one year ago next week) And I didn't need to forget…again… to read my Bible either. I did all that and then decided to fix fresh okra, fresh squash and fresh tomatoes for lunch in addition to our regular "Monday menu". I had planned to eat lunch with hubby, have his supper packed for work and myself ready to walk out the door at twelve noon sharp so as to be able to pick up a friend to take her to her regular visit to the eye doctor at one o'clock. Whew!

At twelve noon I walked out the door. Right on time. Things were looking better. My friend was waiting at our prearranged meeting place and I picked her up started off for her doctor's appointment. It was good to drive and visit and relax on the way. Just what I was needing. When we arrived at the doctor's office I went in with her to make sure everything was on schedule before leaving to run some errands of my own. As I sat in one of the blue padded straight chairs I saw a young couple with a beautiful black haired little girl come in. The girl looked to be in first or second grade to me and sounded very intelligent because I overheard her say to her mother, "Are you sure this is a children's clinic, too? It looks like it is just an adult clinic." I smiled to myself because she sounded so grown up and was so serious about it. In a few minutes my friend was signed in and I left to do my errands.

After the usual rounds at Dollar Tree for school supplies for friends, Wal-Mart for cleaning supplies, and Tractor Supply for flea medicine for my dog, I was ready to go back and see if my friend was finished yet. I went in the waiting room and after looking through stacks of financial magazines finally found one on good places to retire and sat back down in one of the blue chairs to look at retirement homes of the rich and famous.

I did not have time to even open the magazine before the daddy of the little black haired girl that I previously mentioned opened the door, walked in and promptly plopped himself down in the chair right beside me! Now, you need to know that I like my space. (And I'm not talking about that website of the same name either lest you are confused.) Before choosing the chair I was sitting in I had carefully sized up the other occupants of the room and distanced myself properly from them. I never, but NEVER sit directly adjacent to a stranger in a waiting room unless there is absolutely no other place to sit! So needless to say I was a little taken aback when he breezed in, sat down, smiled and then said, "I must have been following you! I left not long after you did and here I have gotten back just after you did!" It took me just a minute to follow his line of thought. My first thought was to smile, nod and then casually get up, choose another magazine....and another seat!

Arrogance…..plain and simple. That's what my mood was. But thankfully I overcame that feeling and although I did smile, I didn't get up and move. Instead I asked him how old his little girl was, if she was getting ready to go back to school….this and that. Just idle conversation with a stranger. Then he mentioned she went to a Christian school. Then I mentioned we had home schooled our kids. He said he and his wife had wanted to do that but that something happened that prevented them. He had my attention now! He told me that a little over a year before he suddenly began to have serious vision problems. A CT scan and a MRI showed a large and very rare type of brain cancer. He had to have surgery immediately. His doctor told him that he would most likely come out of the surgery either blind, deaf, or not able to speak…..or possibly even all three.

This man….I never did ask his name…..told the doctor that it was all right….that the Lord was going to be with him no matter what happened. But he CAN see, he CAN hear, and he CAN speak! All this he told me with a big smile on his face. Some of his words, as well as I can remember them were…"Sometimes things come on us unexpected but the Lord always works it out for our good." What a great testimony to the goodness of our Lord and to the faithfulness of His child.

How humbled I was by the time my friend came out and it was time to go home. What a blessing I would have missed had I listened to my tired, arrogant spirit telling me that I didn't want to be bothered with talking to a stranger who had actually sat in the very next chair to mine when there were empty chairs all over the waiting room! J The Lord knew I needed to be uplifted by hearing what He has done and hearing the praises this Christian brother was offering to Him. I am so glad that the Lord orders our steps…..and the chairs we sit in too!

May God bless you in the steps He has ordered for you today!



Cheryl G. said...

Wow - this really made me think!
I wonder how many times I have missed blessings or lessons that the Lord had in store for me for this very reason.

Hope you have a great day!


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I'm the opposite. I'm the obnoxious stranger getting in your face and wanting to have conversation.


Well, not really. I find people the most fascinating creatures on this earth. I love to hear their stories, and when they boast the name of Jesus, you can bet I find my hallelujah pretty quick.

Don't mind us talkers. It means we just like you and think you worthy of conversation.

You are! And you're such a blessing to me.


Kathryn said...

Thank you for sharing that story! I try to look "beneath the surface" in those kind of situations, as you did, to see what the Lord is doing ... or what He wants me to do.

Found your site while surfing CWO and was blessed by your posts! :-)

Anonymous said...

This is good Marilyn... very open and transparant! I can see you here! It makes me laugh.

Leah said...

I have often thought about how many blessings I miss by immediately opening up a book when I get on an airplane or sit down in other places. I need to be more aware of this. Thanks for the reminder.

I don't know what is going on with my blog but it seems other bloggers are having the same trouble. Some people have been able to get on my blog but not many.

Hopefully Blogger will get it fixed soon.


Joyful said...

I loved this Marilyn. I tend to be like you - although, I had to laugh when I went to the airport on my own in June. The area I waited in before boarding the plane was massive and there was only one man sitting waiting. Guess where I sat? Two chairs away from him. Just one chair between us, but I was too nervous to sit by myself.

Don't want to miss any God opportunities!

Tracy said...

Wow, how I loved reading this Marilyn. Most of the time, I smile at everyone and say "Hi" but when I'm in a hurry, I tend to be more serious and less aware of others around me. This was a great reminder to me. You just never know where and how the Lord might encourage you through an awkward encounter with a stranger! ; )

Thank you so much for dropping by my blog and for your kind note. Always nice to meet new friends! (I can tell you that I highly recommend going to see Beth Moore at a Living Proof event or tuning in some Wednesday on "Life Today?" Her messages gain another whole dimension when you can "see" her teach.)

I've read several of your posts. Your posts are very insightful and encouraging! I look forward to visiting again soon!


bundy2123 said...

What a wonderful story Aunt Marilyn. I'm the same way about having my space and do the same thing as you when I walk into a doctor's office. LOL

After my last local tv news interview, I was coming in to work the following day. I was late for some reason, can't recall right off why, but anyway, I was stopped first by a woman who worked in our building who recognized me from the tv. She gave me a big hug and told me she was proud of me and it meant a lot to her and others for what I was doing. A moment later, I continued walking to the elevators for my building when I was stopped again, this time by a security guard. He came up to me and he could hardly talk. I was a little taken aback and really didn't know what he was going to say. He finally began to talk & said he was originally from Baltimore and was a policeman there. He said he saw my interview and, recognizing me, he wanted to tell me first thing how sorry he was about what happened. He said to him, in Baltimore, it is one of the heinous crimes and to speak out about it, putting your face and your name for other to identify with you, really speaks a lot about a person. He was again at such a loss for words that I reached up & gave him a hug. I was so touched that he sought me out and came to work early just to talk to me.

How wonderful that you and I both stopped to find out something glorious about another person, before a perfect stranger.

Love you;