July 23, 2013

Whose pace should we go by?

John 1:16
For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
Philippians 1:6
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you,
will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

grace upon grace

We walked towards the park, him a thousand steps behind me. With each step we took the distance seemed to grow, as did my anger. My thoughts swirled around my head. I knew it was early, I knew he had just woken, but why did he push my buttons in such a way? Why must he insist on falling so far behind?

That was the little scenario that happened right before figurative lightning struck me from the sky. It seems I learn much during our walks. Not necessarily about him, but about myself.

I was pushing him hard. I walk fast anyway, and he wasn't fully awake yet. Why was I so against slowing down to his pace? Wouldn't that be showing love and kindness toward him? Was I so focused on getting exactly what I wanted that I would miss out on something else?

I did end up slowing down, and allowed him to set the pace from that point on. We continued to walk in silence, but my mind whirled with thoughts. I realized that so often I expect certain things from people, but they may just not be there yet. Sometimes I do it to myself as well. Why wasn't I ready to start selling my craft a year ago? Why can't I get in front of people and speak without feeling as if I need to throw up? I beat myself up all the time, and I do it to others as well. Not with my words, or actions, but my attitudes. It can be just as devastating.

As we continued around the park and headed back home he started taking notice of the birds, turtles, squirrels, sky, and he joked around a little and talked some. His pace quickened on the last mile home and I had a hard time keeping up with him. Not because I pushed him, or pulled him, or gave him dirty looks or said ugly things. Simply because he was ready to move quicker.

I gave him the space to grow in his own time and he did it.

Some things seem more urgent than a walking pace, but I have to wonder: how often do I cause more problems with my attitude and anger over unmet expectations? Maybe walking with someone, regardless of the situation, is better than getting angry because they aren't where I think they should be. Maybe love and support help a person along faster than anger and frustration. It seems to me it would.

So, I'm learning what it means to give others and myself grace upon grace, which has already come to us through Christ. And I'm remembering that it is God who works through each of us, not me. And I'm realizing that when I allow space for God to work, I'm a much happier person enjoying her life more than I ever thought I would be if they just "straightened up."

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