Saturday, October 12, 2013

Struggling to Please Some Dirt

   The rain is steady, it has been for several days. The traffic outside is typical for D.C. H-Mart is still my favorite for grocery shopping, although the weekend crowd left me feeling like a giant Amazon. I successfully avoided stepping on any small children or people, a feat that left me feeling accomplished until I almost got hit in the parking lot. Turns out "Anthony" "really" liked my "hair, and your style. Does your boyfriend know just how lucky he is? Oh wait, do you have a boyfriend??" What a way to ask a girl out. Run her over. Props for ingenuity? Not so much. Enough with the H-Mart trip-although it's always an adventure. I always discover something new to learn how to cook. I never realized just how many fruits and vegetables exist.

   I am feeling exceptionally like a domesticated homemaker. My entire apartment is clean, meals for the next week have been invented and perfected (yes, from scratch for those from D.C.), I successfully ran my errands, got my work-out in, paid my bills, stressed more about jobs, then watched a documentary on how stress ages and kills your body. All in all, I'm feeling quite accomplished.

   Strange entry? Yes, I know. Just a day in my life. These are my thoughts. They don't always dive deep into the spiritual realm. Of course, they wander there at some point. Today while I was mopping for what felt like hours due to the amount of dirt carried in with the move, my mind began to wander. As Aerosmith's Dream On rocked my Pandora, I began to think of the thousands of people who plod away each day in an effort to make someone else happy. The thousands, probably millions of people who work tirelessly to make a relationship work or to please someone. This someone could be their parents, children, neighbor, roommate, significant other, spouse, spiritual leader, boss, or just a random stranger. As things go, we cannot please everyone and sometimes the one person we care to please will never be happy with us. Or perhaps they are pleased but do not express their appreciation.

   While I may be wrong (feel free to comment below), I believe there are some people in our lives who we will always either consciously or unconsciously hope to please. The heart-breaking part is when we never succeed. Our most incredible efforts are only met with disappointment. The repeated rejection can easily lead us to be unhappy with our lives, skeptical and negative towards others, and lose our feeling of worth. Galatians 1:10 says, "For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." The challenge is clearly laid out, whom do you serve? Yourself? Others? How about the God who made you? Isaiah 2:22 says, "Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?" I love the sense of humor presented here. People with breath, made out of dirt. My point is not that we should completely dis-regard the opinion of others, but God says to worry about Him and allow him to worry about the world. He planned everything at the very beginning and I'm pretty sure He's got this one. Besides, National Geographic has a great documentary on the effects of stress on the body, so why not just give this "stressor" up, since we don't actually have to take it on.

   I think about the people in my life currently that I work so hard to please. I think about all of the wasted time and energy I spend trying to make them happy. Then I think about the things that I should do for others. Some of those things overlap, but the time I spend worrying about their happiness, well that is a sin. We are to help others, but not to the extent that it negatively affects us or what God would have us do for eternity. I will wrap this up with the hopes that I have not completely confused anyone but encouraged you to seek to please God in your actions. As my mother always told me, "Grace, you can only be responsible for your actions and reactions to others. Everything else is between God and them." Not sure why I actually remembered that one-maybe because I was constantly needing reminded as I sat in the principal's office for punching a boy or spoke disrespectfully to an authority figure. Be encouraged, God see's your efforts even where others don't!

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