Sunday, July 15, 2012

Dealing With a Critical Spirit

WARNING – For those of us who tend to have a critical spirit from time to time, let me assure you of something.  The Lord will deal with us.  He will make sure that the very things that we are so very critical of come right back and bite us in our tails.  The bite will be hard.  The bite will be humbling.  The bite will most assuredly be painful.

This vacation has included a long list of misplaced items and lots of “Mom, have you seen my Ipod?” and “Sarah, do you have any idea where my wallet is?” On Friday, my daughter left her purse in a locker at Universal, which required from me a quick sprint (okay, truth be told, it was a “not so quick” sprint but more like a light jog) through the entire park to retrieve it since the rest of her group was waiting on us.  All the while, such thoughts were going through my mind,  “If she had only been more responsible” and “WHY didn’t she read the directions on those lockers before sticking her stuff in there?” (Notice that all these thoughts were going through my mind, not out my mouth, as my mouth was too busy gasping for air!)

So, suffice it to say that my spirit has been less than sympathetic this week.  I’ve been guilty of having thoughts such as “WHY can’t they ALL keep up with their stuff?” more than once daily (okay, more like hourly).  Rather than graciously offer to help my loved ones locate their lost items, I’d instead sigh, mumbling something like “Good grief, here we go again” when something turned up lost.

Well, I have been paid back ten-fold for those critical thoughts.  I have been humbled.  I have been frustrated.  I have been put in my place.  I have LOST my PURSE, along with my WALLET, along with my DRIVER’S LICENSE, along with my DEBIT CARDS, along with my CAMERA, along with my CAR KEYS (which are needed to start my car, which is at the Richmond International Airport), along with EVERY other card that identifies ME as ME (Sam’s club, YMCA, Planet Fitness, library cards, etc). 

So, in this post 9-11 world, where TSA officials are more vigilant than ever in screening passengers, I must humbly beg for their acceptance of a xerox copy of my license (praise the Lord that our resort made a copy!), the copy of the police report detailing how I lost my purse (I got that tip from a very nice security guard at the outlet mall; I simply filed the report online then printed it  out), and my family vouching for me, declaring that I am in fact me. (So thankful that so many of those critical thoughts had gone through my head this week, rather than coming out of my mouth!  If I had voiced each and every one of those thoughts, my family may very well say, during our interview with TSA officials tomorrow, “I have no idea WHO this woman is!  Never seen her before in my life!”)

The next time you get frustrated with others, the next time you feel like you’ve got it all together and everyone around you doesn’t, remember MY experience and be humbled.  None of us are perfect.  We all make mistakes.  We all need the grace of others. We all need to be uplifted by those closest to us.  And above all, remember that your critical spirit will most assuredly come back and bite you in your tail, for THAT is the way the Lord teaches us life’s most important lessons.

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