“What are you doing?” was one of the most prophetic questions I have ever been asked. Granted, the context in which I was asked made the impact. It was years ago at a men’s Bible study. The speaker was asking us what we didn’t like about our lives: “Marriage not so stable? Relationships on the rocks? How about work, do you hate your job?” He then proceeded to ask the question: “What are you doing?”
I found myself immediately uncomfortable with conviction. What are you talking about? Everything I wasn’t happy with about my life somehow had become my responsibility? I wasn’t really unhappy with anything major, but this sure did get me thinking. We live in a society that encourages self-pity. It is far too often I hear people complain about their circumstance, but show no effort whatsoever toward changing it. It seems as though people prefer to wait for things to get better automatically. If only…
I started to hold myself accountable.
Think about a daily routine of getting your morning coffee. How often do you really think about the person behind the counter? We can all quickly agree that they are there to serve us, but how often are we guilty of treating them like a servant? They deserve the same respect, patience, kindness, and grace as any other human being on the planet. We are, after all, men of God, are we not?
Or consider how we behave in traffic. Oh the humanity! What if I told you that slow driving pick-up in front of you had the family dog of 15 years in the back, dead. The guy just left the veterinarian office after putting his family member to sleep due to inoperable cancer. That guy was me last year.
My point is we should all hold ourselves more accountable. Learn from the world around us and the turmoil we go through. Always assume God the Father is trying to teach you something and make an effort to figure out what it is. Traffic is much more bearable for me now. I’ll admit, I still put imprints on my steering wheel with a white knuckle grip from time to time, but I do make an effort to assume the person in front of me is having a horrible day. When encountered with life altering circumstances, people can benefit greatly from just a bit of patience and courtesy from the rest of us. Heck, even if they are just plain dumb, the extra breath we take will be good for our blood pressure.
With what’s happening to our nation I see the same thing. People complain, but do nothing. Only 40% of the people actually vote! If you are one of the great patriots who still participate, then I applaud you. Our voices as people are not limited to the voting booths though. Our representatives are more accessible than most realize. I have met one on one with my District State Representative by simply requesting the meeting with a phone call to his office. The most important advice of all I can give is to pay no attention to political ads or signs. I can guarantee you they are always biased. No one is donating money to the “Neutral Party” to advertise the ins and outs of Proposal X. You have to read these things! Don’t ever vote for something or someone your preacher, grandmother, or good buddy told you to vote for. Our government hates informed and educated people. Shy of marching on the Capitol with an intent to overthrow, there is nothing more powerful than a country full of informed citizens.