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Knowledge, inspiration, and encouragement from a Christian perspective is my goal. I post a weekly commentary, which could be about world events or the events of my week. Other days I might share stories, recipes, homemaking tips, book reviews, political talk, biblical truth, or other blogs and websites I like. This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

Monday, December 28, 2009

DO CRUMBS REALLY MATTER?

Every time I'm bothered lately, it's for the same reason...people can't relax. They obsess about everything and fuss about things that could easily be overlooked. It's hard to be yourself around someone like that. The minute they walk into the room you feel uncomfortable, like you have to watch everything you say and do for fear that you might set that person off.

I was that kind of person years ago. Maybe that's why I'm bothered by it now. I was very controlling, I fussed about things that weren't important and I had a comment for everything. I still have a lot of opinions, but now I have to be pushed before I'll express them directly. When the same injustice keeps occurring, I'll make my opinion known, but I'm more likely to grab a pen and start writing than I am to get into an argument.

The older I get, the more I realize that it's just not worth it. People have enough to worry about without being nagged by people who can't relax. The bible has some clear warnings about minding our own business and letting God do the correcting. Of course there are times when we do need to speak, but I've learned that those times are few and far between and should always be preceded by careful thought and lots of prayer.

I'm not talking about parenting. That kind of guidance is certainly needed. I'm talking about fussing over things that aren't important. In the grand scheme of life do crumbs really matter? Is it worth disrupting a peaceful dinner for the sake of a crumb-free table? Is there any sense to arguing about garbage? I know a guy that gets mad if someone throws something in the garbage right after he changes the bag, as if there's a waiting period that must be followed. I guess he needs to enjoy that empty can. He makes garbage more important than people every time he fusses about it.

People are more important than things. A close friend said those very words to me recently. A few years ago she became very sick and was faced with the reality of death. Since then her priorities have changed. Now she doesn't care about her house being perfect and she doesn't get upset when her routine is interrupted. There was a time when I couldn't drop in on her unexpectedly. If I did, I was met at the door by an unwelcoming glare.

Today she's more relaxed because being sick made her realize how fragile and fleeting life is. She doesn't want to waste her time being mad at people when things don't go her way. Those things are less important now. She thinks of her sickness as a blessing. It changed her for the better. And people notice the change. They like the person she's become... a more relaxed, more pleasant version of herself.

How do you know if you're someone who needs to relax? What are your family members and friends telling you? Keep a journal and write down every time you fuss about something that could easily be overlooked. Might you be better off to pray about the situation than to voice constant opinions?

What if we took that same energy and fussed about the people in our lives? What if we would come home and talk to our kids, ask them how their day went, instead of fussing about the way the house looks? What if we put more effort into noticing people and their good qualities, praising them for the work they have done instead of harping on their weaknesses and what they haven't done.

If we can't relax we can't enjoy the ones we love. We'll be more bothered by them than anything. Some day those people won't be with us anymore. All we'll have is memories that we wish we could go back and change. We'll regret all the time we wasted fussing about messes, crumbs and interruptions.

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