Can you stand to hear this just one more time?

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Two days ago I awoke to this view from my window.  We had experienced some pretty heavy winds, and if this was the only thing that happened,
I should be grateful.  As I was reflecting on it, however, the old adage came to mind –

” Trees that don’t bend with the wind, won’t last the storm”

I began to think about the storms in my life and whether or not I have ‘bent’ with them.  I began to think of the dangers of rigidity and seeing things only
in black or white.  I began to reflect on where I see this in the world today, in relationships and in my own life.

I took this picture so that I can continue to learn from it.
a few last thoughts…

+ when the tree refuses to bend, it breaks leaving sharp edges –
it’s difficult to embrace  sharp edges

+ it falls to the ground, no longer does it look upward,
soon it will only belong to the earth

+ It will not continue to grow.  Its refusal to bend has caused it its life

+ this tree’s rigidity caused it to split – weakening the whole

+ storms pass.  Had this tree been a bit more flexible,
it could have lived and stood up straight again when the storm was over.

Can You Do It?

Can you make it through one day without passing judgment on another?  How about an hour….can you do it?  My guess would be ‘no’.  It seems to be a part of our processing mechanisms.  We take in information and we rate it (softer word than judge).  Think about it…someone says something and we ‘like’ it or we don’t.  How often does that then translate into our feelings towards that person?

We have our opinions, our standards, what we believe and what we don’t.  How often do we judge those who differ from us?  Are we quick to point out how wrong they are?

I’m not sure that we will ever be able to ‘turn off’ our rating mechanisms.  Our initial feelings or thoughts about what or who we face each day.  What I do think that we can work on, however, is what we do with those judgments?  How we react to them?

Here are a few questions to ponder:

  • Do I allow a reaction to a comment effect my feelings toward the person who made it?
  • Do I react or do I take the time to look deeper?  Why did they say that?  What is it about their lives or what they are going through at the moment that made them speak as they did.
  • What is it about ‘me’ that made me react as I did?
  • Am I sure that I am right?

 

Jesus asks us to ‘love one another’….  That kind of love has to include both compassion and understanding…and sometimes, a muted tongue!