Thursday, December 08, 2005

Finding Grace in an Ungracious World

Okay, I ripped that title from the subtitle of a new book I started last night, If God Is Love. Good so far, but more on that in a later post. For now, I'm chewing on graciousness and humility.

This morning, I was correcting my daughter who had taunted me with a malicious-sounding "HA HA HA" because she beat me to the truck. I attempted to explain to her what it meant to be a gracious winner...and a gracious person in general. She quickly reminded me that I often taunt her in this same manner when racing around the house...to her bedroom, the dinner table...

"GUILTY AS CHARGED YOUR HONOR!"

I humbly apologized to her, then explained that the way she feels when I do that to her is how she makes others feel when she gloats and taunts over others a "meaningless victory." I assured her that daddy was not being a gracious winner when I did that to her. I promised to do better and requested the same from her.

I thought about that all the way to work. The subtitle of the aforementioned book still fresh in my memory, I considered what true graciousness looks like. Soon thereafter, I was confronted with my own ungracious attitude toward others...

An aggressive driver almost caused two accidents within 5 carlinks of me approaching an Interstate on-ramp. His wreckless driving made me so angry because it belied the callous selfishness of the driver himself. It made me want to run him down, drag him out of his SUV and punch him in the head. I immediately thought of the story we know as "The Good Samaritan." What did my angry fantasy bely about me? Would I actually fit the description of one of the muggers in that age-old story of an ambushed traveller left to die along the roadside? Beating a man and leaving him bloodied beside a busy Interstate with at least one slashed tire, so he couldn't drive so wrecklessly on rain-soaked pavement? Yep, that would be me. Pretty gracious, huh?

The more I considered my angry thoughts...okay, it was nearly road rage...the more I could see my lack of humility glaring back at me in the rearview mirror. Seems to me that a gracious attitude comes more naturally when we think of ourselves in proper perspective...like when we take on the attitude of the Shepherd and clothe ourselves in humility.

Humility...a concept I can't seem to escape no matter how hard I try to execute a counter trap play (football term, sorry). Now, I am left to consider my lack of graciousness, and how it seems that I can't do anything about it without the H-word coming into play. So chew on that awhile.

2 comments:

anne said...

I was thinking yesterday during a conversation with a friend how ungracious I can be, though I didn't call it that at the time. So many times when I have a chance to speak with humility, to ask questions with love, I resort instead to inane chit chat, or airing petty irritations. I've realized I need to pause more and let God's heart speak through my mouth, rather than instantly going into my messy head and letting it direct me. Humility. It seems to be speaking to me.

nolesrock said...

thanks, anne, for stopping by...I've always found your words to be full of both grace and humility...peace!