April 12, 2011

Humbling the "I" factor

God always gives us what we need- a place to encourage others and a place where we are rested and encouraged. I don't always need what I think I do. Have you ever thought that someone else might need that more? I hadn't really thought of it that way. I have expectations like anyone else when I am a guest- I am here so that I am taken care of, I am fed, I am made comfortable, and all my needs are met.
...And there begins the self-entitled attitude. It always starts with "I".
For example, I want a real bed not an airbed when I am travelling. I want wireless so I can communicate. I want to seek solace in a quiet evening to give thought and rest to a hard day. I want cleanliness. I am in a difficult place and I am tired., therefore I want to be met in a place where I am encouraged and someone takes the time to pour into me- scratching far beneath the surface of introductions to where I am tired, empty, or lonely for more personal connection.
And then you know what often happens next in those times? I get just the opposite of what I think I need. I stay somewhere in my travels with the choir where I have little privacy and my host is eager to talk when I am ready for my alone time. But then I learn from being squished into the living room where I am right in the middle of household community that my host has not had anyone to carry on a meaningful conversation with for months. Or maybe she is divorced. Maybe lonely. Down, even depressed from the relationship he or she wishes they had with her sons and daughters but doesn't...
And then humility hits me and I learn to see that I am staying with normal people with their own sets of needs, and that sometimes they need the care more than I do. God always provides me with what I need, and when I don't receive the kind of place I think I wanted I get what I really need- a place to encourage someone else.

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