Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Stop and Think

They knocked on the door. They shook their fists. They cursed at the store owner. The sign said "back in five minutes," but they couldn't wait. After all, the lights were on. They saw some of the workers filing into the back office. Were they all really unavailable? Surely they were just being selfish and lazy. So the tirade had begun.

Little did they know what was really going on. A co-worker had been tragically murdered the night before. She was scheduled to go into work that day. The staff was just taking ten minutes in a back office to cry, and talk, and hug, and pray. They were trying to do what they could to face the world, a world full of impatience, criticism, entitlement, and selfishness.

When someone is having trouble behind the wheel, do we immediately react negatively or do we stop and think? Maybe they don't see as well as they used to. Maybe they are lost from out of town. When someone is taking forever in line at the grocery store, do we ever stop and think? Maybe they have a lot going on. Perhaps they are in the first stages of an illness that is challenging their mind. When rumors fly about folks we know, do we ever stop and think? Where did this rumor come from? Who is spreading it and why? Do we have enough facts to have an opinion?

I am afraid we do many of the things we do that hurt one another because we are not allowing each other the proper time and respect that is due fellow human beings.

But God waited in our weakness. He paused in our moment of misconduct. He allowed for our humanity. He authored a plan of hope and gave us a chance. And that has made all the difference.

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." ~ Romans 12:21

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