Their world seemed so very far from mine. I was on Sesame Street and they were on the information Super highway.
It did not take long for enough time to pass and my own age to increase enough for me to realize that “old” is subjective and located amazingly far away from ones own birthday. As I crossed into my thirties I began to realize that there are actually changes that occur while you are relatively young en route to getting old.
For example, one day I ate a bowl of cereal and discovered that seemingly overnight I could not digest milk by the bowlful. Suffice it to say that it was a very unhappy experience and I had to shelve my love of cereal. I was in fact getting older and needing to make the necessary adjustments.
Recently one of the deacons at the church I pastor was playing basketball. Apparently he did not get the “over thirty memo” that he too may need to make age related adjustments and decided to play a full contact game with men far younger than he.
Not only did he aim to play, he foolishly decided that he would fly through the air like Mike, rebound like Kobe, dunk like Shaq and run as fast a Lebron. He was clearly unaware that he no longer had the capacity to ball at that level without severe consequences in the morning.
While going up for a shot he was chopped in the neck by an opposing player. This blow caused him to fall…hard. Being a typical man he assessed himself and decided that if he wasn’t bleeding buckets of blood he could not possibly be hurt “for real.” Deciding to trade the use of his kneecaps for the appearance of being a superhero, he jumped up and he continued to play in pain.
Later that night he discovered that as one ages, the ability to rise quickly from a fall does not mean one was not actually injured in the fall. He stiffened up by the hour and by morning realized that he needed to not only miss work, but head over to Urgent Care. I decided that I would ride over with him as he sounded like he was about to cry over the phone while recounting the previous days events.
I soon found out that it was not tears I was hearing but the gasping caused by the pain of any movement below the waist. When we arrived at Urgent Care I went and got a wheelchair and watched him lower himself from the truck to the chair. Like many women, I was carrying a purse. Admittedly my purse is large. It’s not huge; it is simply large enough to fit a few essentials such as my calendar, a laptop, wallet and a small dog.
Logistically, there was no way for me to push the chair and hold my purse so I placed it in his lap as we wheeled in to see the doctor. He had no problem letting the purse ride along, as he was probably delirious from the pain. From the front desk to the back, the back to x-ray, x-ray to the waiting area, the waiting area back to the doctor and from the doctor to the exit the purse rode and I pushed with no problems. I wheeled him over to the side of the entryway so that I could go and get the truck, which was parked a few yards away. I took about two steps away from him and he yelled after me, “Wait, this doesn’t look right! You need to get your purse.”
We laughed at the reality that they purse riding along was fine as long as there was a woman nearby; but the thought of being alone in public holding a purse was a pain far worse than the injury he had suffered on the basketball court.
What if you and I were that cautious about what people thought of us? I understand that we can not control people’s hidden motives and agenda’s nor can we silence their whispers but we most certainly can be aware that people are watching us as Christians and we are creating an impression (either positively or negatively) about us and our God!
This week, look closely at the impressions you make in everyday situations. Are you respectful as you conduct business? Are you polite when someone dials your number by mistake or takes “your” parking spot? Are you a friendly voice of reason at your children’s school or are you the parent that no one wants to see coming?
Ultimately, through our behavior and the impressions being made we are either leading people to God or away from Him. After interacting with you people should leave excited about the Light in you that makes you different.
Don’t waste time working to blend in and shrink into the background you are too well designed for that. You have a major assignment and God and the world are watching: Shine.