Friday, July 12, 2013

Receiving Precisely What I Needed

Sometimes guidance can come to you in the strangest of forms.  Today I received a spiritual butt-kicking from a window decal on a Jeep.  Before you try to commit me to an institution, please let me explain.

The morning got off just fine, but by 12:30 I had a mini meltdown.  I had my normal morning routine of waking up, walking the dog, reading a Psalm, eating, etc.  As I drove my way to work I judgmentally decided that the overweight early 20's man in the car behind me looked real dumb for smoking a cigarette and keeping his mouth wide open between puffs.  Doesn't his tongue dry out? I thought. Does he really know what he looks like right now?  Nice move, Tamsen.

I get to work.  Things are normal to fine, until just before lunchtime.  A couple who are clients of ours walked in to drop off a check.  They didn't want to bother the boss-man by saying hello to him, so after about a minute of small chat, they left.  My boss comes out of his office (he was in a meeting with another of our co-workers) and asks where they were.  He had heard them from down the hall and wanted to get together with them over lunch.  As they had already stepped out of the office and into the elevator, we had to call them and have them come back up.  He was slightly annoyed at me.  I was being a ninny and was annoyed at him for being annoyed at me.  Again, nice move.

So once they are wrangled back up to talk to him for what I think is going to be 5 minutes, they start making lunch plans.  "But you have the conference call you need to be on at noon," I protested, getting even more annoyed since he had specifically requested to be on this call.  "Call Kelly and have her just do it by herself."  I had another protest:  "But I'm on hold with social security trying to get that conference call you requested!"  "Hang up and call Kelly.  You will be on hold for 10 years with them."  A true statement, but I was still annoyed.

They go on their merry way, and as they walk out the door I think of the delicious sandwiches or pasta that they will be eating, while all I have to eat is a spinach salad with leftover BBQ chicken and avocado.  Poor me.  Can't you just hear the sad violin playing in the background?  Anyway, I go onto getting the check the clients brought ready to deposit.  There is a special form that needs to be filled out, and I am annoyed that I can't find it online.  After I do, I am annoyed that it didn't print they way it needed to.  On my way out the door to the bank, I grab my lunch and lock the door.  I take a quick look at the time (12:17 PM), and then get annoyed again.  My co-worker had forgotten her keys and I absolutely needed to be back from lunch and the bank by 1 PM so I could let her back in.  I was now annoyed at her!

Are you seeing the trend here?

Me, me, me, me, me, me, ME!

Hello, my name is Tamsen Rebecca Wright and I am a selfish little brat. Thankyouverymuch.

As soon as I got in the car, I started to drive and cry simultaneously.  That's right.  I cried.  Threw a fit.  Whatever you want to call it.  I cried because I was so annoyed at everyone I work with and also annoyed at myself for being so annoyed.  While still crying, I pull up behind a Jeep at a stoplight.  And this is what they have as a window decal:

(Photo credit here)

After I looked at it, I realized what a selfish twerp I was being.  It's referencing John the Baptist's words in John 3:30, where JTB tells his disciples that HE (Jesus) must increase, and that he (John) must decrease.  

Oh, sweet Jesus, forgive me.

And now I start crying harder for a different reason; because I realized my own natural inclination to selfishness and the inability to do anything except think of myself.  When I am self-focused, I forget the command to love my neighbor (or boss or co-worker) as myself.  When I am self-focused, I am robbing myself of the opportunity to serve.  When I am self-focused, I forget that Jesus is even there, much less that he should increase.

Lord, let it not be so.  Increase in me so that my natural sinful tendencies may decrease.  Amen and amen.