Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How a Trip to the Store Changed my Life...

I was driving home from buying groceries last night at about 11pm when I was humbled so deeply. It's something that has changed me forever. No, I wasn't in a car accident or didn't witness one, but that was a good guess.

A Lesson on Gratitude
I was driving down the interstate in my great little Honda Civic going about 65 or 70 (which is slow for me:)), and I had a car full (literally almost) of groceries - a huge surplus of food. I had my dog (the best dog in the world) in the backseat, a 35 pound bag of dog food in the front with me and I was driving home to the most wonderful husband in the world. I was going home to our beautiful brick house which is only a year old. I was going in to all the comforts of it - to a garage, central heat, hot water, a beautiful kitchen, nice furniture and so many things I can't even count them all. I was so humbled. Who was I to go home to all these things? Who was I to deserve these things? The truth is I could never do anything to deserve them, yet God has chosen to bless me with them any way. I consider myself so fortunate.

I began thinking about my selfishness and self centeredness and how I have had this attitude of "I deserve." "I deserve this, I deserve to be treated this way, I deserve, I deserve, I deserve....." What was funny is I thought I had been doing really well with my humility :), like I was bringing it under control, but last night I realized I had been failing miserably.

What's important?
I was also humbled as I was walking through the store in my usual very fast pace with long strides rushing here and there. I began to think about how I'm always in a hurry - in a hurry to use "my" time for "my" things and the things I want to do. I often don't pay attention to the people around me because I'm in such a hurry to do "my" thing. How rude is that? Not that I don't need to be working toward something, but where's my priorities? What's important? Is what I have to do so important that I can't make time for the people right in front of me? Who's time is it anyway? I realized that my time was actually God's time. How does He want me to use it? If I considered it His time to use for Him, how would I do things differently? I began asking myself what would he want me to do with His time? How could I use His time better?

I began to view myself outside of myself and my own little world. Am I here to just serve myself in my own little world? Can I really make a difference doing that? What if I view myself as being here to help make a difference and enhance other people's lives - especially those right in front of me? Will I really get what I want out of life serving myself or will I get what I want by serving others selflessly? I'm pretty sure God did not put us here to serve ourselves. It may seem like that, but when we do we are only miserable. It's funny I have seen my purpose as one to help people and that is what I have been trying to do, but it appears I have been choosing who I wanted to help and it was not necessarily in the right order. Who have I been "helping" at the expense of someone right in front of me? Are those closest to me and right in front of me screaming for my help and I'm pushing them off to the side to help someone else. Have I had tunnel vision? Perspective....... The BIG picture....... Without the big picture we just go through life in the wrong direction....

What happened is I began to see the big picture. I began to see myself as an extension of everybody else - as a way to improve this world one person at a time - with the most important people in my life first. It all goes back to the question from the last post..... Is it urgent or important? I'm going to make my life important.....

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