This may come off a little preachy. If you aren’t in the mood for such, just skip this today and come back tomorrow when I shall share some of the lessons I’ve learned on the “farm.”
Being at the kids school every day has brought me into contact with all kinds of people. Single people. People dealing with ugly divorces or custody arrangements. Rich people. Poor people. Really insane people. Angry people. Happy people. People with AND without kickball skilz. I have gotten to know many of them on a more personal level. Some of them have very hard lives and at times, it is painful to hear the stories they tell.
Today, I visited at a congregation also made up of all kinds of people. Most of it was quite positive. But there was one row of about 10 young people…either late high school or early college…that almost sucked the joy out of everything good. They were unfortunately directly in front of us and as hard as I tried, I couldn’t tune them totally out. I honestly have no idea why they were even there. One guy gave it up altogether, slumped down in the pew and went to sleep. Another guy hunkered down and played an hour of Angry Birds. Three people compared whether or not they were all double jointed. All of them talked…the WHOLE time. One checked his facebook account. And they almost got a smackety smack from me. Even my kids noticed how disrespectful they were.
And so, on the basis of my recent people watching experiences and getting to know people from all walks of life, here are my assessments. You don’t have to agree. I know I’m not always right. But I’m a 41 year old mom of 4 who knows how to sit quietly in any kind of formal assembly, believes in keeping her word, and still has many of the same friends I had when I was 19. Also, I scoop chicken poo like a champ. Whatever credibility comes with these things is the credibility I have.
Life Lessons according to Missy:
(1) Honor your commitments. This one actually might NOT make you more peaceful. Sometimes sticking something out—whether it’s a bad game of Duck, Duck, Goose, a job you took, a friendship, a task you said you’d do for someone, or a marriage—is harder in the short run. Sometimes sticking it out is the tougher option. But if you said you’d do it—if you committed to it—then you should do it. Don’t break your end. How many others suffer when we quit? Almost always, others do. Sometimes for a day. Sometimes for many months. Sometimes forever. Many times the other party messes it up or lets go of their end of the rope. Don’t let go first.
(2) If you aren’t sure you can honor the commitment, don’t make it. You don’t have to say yes. If you say yes, mean it. But then, we’ve been down this road already.
(3) Choose God. I honestly don’t know how I’d live without Him. I don’t know how people do it. Life can be very heavy and very challenging. Sometimes life can try to kill you. It hasn’t tried to kill me yet, but it has sat down on me a time or two and I’ve been through enough to know that I won’t do it without God. I’m watching some friends live through some pretty bad stuff. Even in the bad stuff, God is with them.
(4) Choose your spouse wisely. Choose them before you have their babies. And then work to the bone to make it work. I know there’s tons of extenuating circumstances. I know I don’t know people’s situations. I know it doesn’t always work out. I’m not judging. I’m just saying that if you are still searching for that someone, search carefully.
(5) A thing is only as good as its investors.
(6) Just because someone doesn’t believe in it, doesn’t make it unbelievable.
(7) Your actions—whatever they are and however insignificant they seem to you—impact others. If you pick your nose in the car, you are not invisible. Even window tinting cannot guarantee your safety. People see. If you play thumb wars in church in front of a family trying really hard to get something out of the service, you may be utterly ruining it for them. Almost never do our actions affect only us. Almost always they ripple out. So consider others. In our own living rooms, I guess it doesn’t matter so much. But in a theater, or school auditorium, or church building, or in line at the grocery store, people see and are either made better or worse by what we do.
So don’t be a dork. 🙂
And that’s all I have to say about that.