I get caught up in my own contributions to things sometimes. Concerned about: my ability, my time, my space, my privacy, my peace of mind.
Then I am reminded that this life really isn’t about me. How many times do I miss opportunities to be a good friend because I’m either more concerned with the advice I can give or the advice I need, than with anything the other person may need or have to offer?
My self tries to justify moments like those with thoughts like: “but you wouldn’t give advice if they didn’t ask,” or, “but you were transparent enough to recognize you needed their advice.”
True – but what drove my communication to start with? Sometimes it’s just me. And that isn’t always good. I wish I could say that my advice giving were based on God’s inspiration more than my experience. I wish I could say my search for advice came from a willingness to change rather than a feeling of hurt that needed to be soothed.
I’m thankful for wise friends who do soothe my hurt emotions with insight beyond my words. Their offering may actually sting my hurts, but it’s like an antiseptic – cleaning out the part of me that really needed it instead if the part of me that was insulted.
I am thankful for God’s patience with me, and his assurance that whatever I think I’ve suffered – he has suffered more. He knows my hurt and whether it is real or merely a result of my choice to take offense. And even though I may have every reason to be offended, according to any sense of decorum, I don’t necessarily have the right.
God is so patent, so good, so willing to hold my hand through everything I go through- why do I try so hard to be an independent and grown-up person? I picture Him laughing at me so often: like the smile on a parent’s face when they are watching a child’s attempt to tie their shoes – enjoying the child’s attempts, yet knowing that they will be called on to untangle the laces before much longer.
Thank you, God, for never tiring of tying shoes.