Sometimes People Suck (Sorry, I meant to say Spring Forward)
Sometimes People Suck... (Let's go with the alternate, nicer title - Spring Forward)
I recently found this note in my phone from last year. Who says people only show you their best days on social media? I actually prefer your best days...and mine, but don't be fooled. I may only show the days of dancing in the rain but we all go through the mud puddles at some point too. I didn't think I'd EVER post this note from last year because it was meant as a venting exercise only. However, its cracking me up today, so maybe it is the time to share it. It's good to be able to look back and either laugh or learn. Maybe this post will help someone out there to process what they're going through and spring forward. Ahhh, that is a good alternative title isn't it? Spring Forward. Daylight Savings Time is just around the corner so we are going to have to change our clocks and SPRING FORWARD whether we like it or not. Naturally or spiritually, the only way to go is forward. Backward movement is an illusion. The sun will rise and set and another day will be upon us. It is the way of life. If you have ever been in a relationship with another human being on this planet, you'll be able to relate to this post. Remember, this was from months ago and it's a brand new year now, but still, here it goes...
Sometimes People Suck...
Oh man, I'm sorry. Did I just say that? It's true though. Sometimes people suck. Truth be told, sometimes I suck too. I won't keep using that word though for those who find it offensive. It was definitely on the banned word list for my kids when they were younger. They're all adults now so their language is no longer my responsibility. Phew! Can I use the word stink? Ok, I'll go with that. Sometimes people stink. That is a fact. This morning though I was asking God, "What is the truth about all of this?" All I heard in return is, "Are you going to [stink] back?" I guess I need to figure out what I mean when I say people stink in the first place?
"People stink" is more about what I feel than about what I mean. The feeling is that, as pastors or leaders, we pour out and pray out and give out and serve, day after day and year after year. It seems that often, those to whom we give the most take it all and say, "Thank you but we've got new plans so we're moving on from you but thanks for your service. Oh, by the way, if we need your resources again, we'll be calling on you. Thanks for all! Love ya!" At the end of it all, those walking away usually think they're the ones who gave so much. How about the folks who tell you one thing to your face but then go with another story for everyone else? This is definitely not just based on current experience, but over 20 years of experience in the ministry.
Here is the place we must intentionally choose which way we will respond. Will we "stink back" and harbor disappointment, frustration, irritation or anger? Will we realize we all stink at some point? Will we bless instead of curse no matter how it feels? Oh, I know there is such a balance between being real about our feelings and determining to have our heart and words aligned with heaven. Shoot! I blew that one right on the first line didn't I? The reality is that we have to develop tough skin while maintaining tender hearts.
I know it sounds like I'm frustrated or hurt, but in reality I am processing what pastors and leaders go through week after week and year after year. For the most part, we are not "allowed" to speak out about how we feel. We are supposed to rise above it all and be the example, the strong mature ones who don't get offended or at least don't show it. The reality though, is that pastors and leaders have to face people's incredible emotional swings, personal issues, and crises every week of their lives while still standing strong, being filled with faith, and rejoicing with a smile on their faces.
Do you want to know what I just did? I was driving to the office and decided to stop off and get Duck Donuts. I was sure they would make me feel better even though, at the time, I didn't know I wasn't feeling ok. I ran into a church leader from our city that I hadn't seen in a long time. As he asked how I was, I confessed that I was buying donuts to overcome frustration. You have to know that this was not someone I would ever confess to or confide in. Come on! I'm more of an introvert who chooses very carefully who she shares information with. Apparently, whatever is going on inside of me just came out. I am clearly irritated with people right now. Not all people, but certainly some people. The reality is that no one is ever going to see what is written here unless Jesus, tells me, or should I say, allows me to make it public.
I can preach a good faith message! Just ask my husband. I spent the morning telling him how Jesus has to be the center of our focus and that we won't battle with irritation with people unless people are the center of our focus. I guess it's safe to say I had a downward spiral from there. I can choose to do something about that though, here and now!
I will take that downward spiral, compress it under worship, and turn it into a spring to propel me above it all. Spring Forward!
"Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth." Colossians 3:2 (ESV)
Nothing done unto the Lord is wasted, nothing!
"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ." Colossians 3:23-24 (ESV)