I was given a rare opportunity that I didn’t recognize right away. I was intrigued at how friendly this complete stranger was. He was waiting for friends to arrive and I was waiting for a friend as she was busy with work. There was an occasional interjection she was able to make between phone calls. However, mostly the conversation was between him and me. The things he said were a typical conversation but struck me later as a HUGE eye opener.
I could tell by his accent that he was not from the area. The occasional “aye” was added at the end of his sentences. My mind was trying to not focus on that and tried to pay attention to what he was actually saying. Hard to do when you hear something that you don’t usually hear from someone. This was the beginning of me trying to pay attention to more than the words he was actually saying.
The things he said were interesting. He was from Canada and was here on business with the company he ran with a buddy. It started out with him saying that he has been sober for twenty some years. My friend and I congratulated him for being so brave. He proceeded to expound on how his life has changed and how he had so much more to focus on and live for now with children. At some point in time, I’m not sure exactly how the topic changed; he began expressing how his travels in the United States had shown him a few things.
His travels had taken him to many different states and cities. There was one thing that he took with him from all these places. The attitude from people and how they treated one another was surprising to him. He didn’t understand why people would talk about other individuals with such disregard. He spoke of how life in his hometown differed quite a bit. He said people in Canada, no matter where they were from, had a bigger goal in mind. Instead of individuals thinking they were better than others around them and speaking down of them, people actually helped others no matter what background, race, or education. Coming to the United States was nice but he said he would much rather live and work in his hometown than here.
WOW step back! YIKES!!!! I have not been able to get what he said out of my mind. It keeps ringing loudly and begs for recognition. This blog goes along with my last one posted so well. It also goes along with what my husband has been preaching about. We NEED to wake up! We NEED to t look at people differently. We need to treat them with such a love and compassion like we have never done before. It doesn’t matter if we know them or not. We sometimes think that our way is the better way or the right way. Why do we seem to have this attitude in America? Greed? The “American Dream?” All I know is the scriptures tell us different.
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” ~ Matthew 7:12 (NLT)
We as Christians are called to something different. Something set apart from what America tells us is normal. You like it when people talk nicely about you and when they treat you warmly. So what about that person that you can’t seem to get along with? How do you treat them? EXACTLY how you would want to be treated. That person that is driving slowly in front of you when you are trying to get someplace on time? The list goes on but I think you get the idea.
My challenge this week… think twice before you get irritated with someone. Ask yourself if this is how you would want to be thought about or treated. God commands us to shine HIS light and spread it to the end of the world. Are you shinning in your community or circle of friends?