Thursday, November 15, 2012

Assigning Motives, Extending Grace

My husband's cousin, Jenn, had a post a little while back that keeps coming into my mind.  She describes a frustrating experience with an anonymous driver who was trying to jump the toll line, but then has this realization:
What if he didn't know? What if it was an honest mistake? The line curved - maybe he thought it split into two. Maybe he didn't mean to cut. 
Now, this thought certainly didn't come from me. I'm not quick to extend grace, though heaven knows how often I need it myself. But there it was. 
And in thinking about it now, I wonder how often I'm quick to think the worst of people, quick to judge their actions. It's possible, perhaps even likely, that those people cutting in line knew exactly what they were doing and were just trying to get ahead. But it's also possible that they didn't. Why did I jump to the worst conclusion?
And why do I think of this tonight?  Because tonight I was the idiot who drove 4 miles down a windy country road with my high beams on.  

Quite often when I've started to get annoyed at this or that little thing that someone does, a quick scene jumps before my eyes where I've done either the same thing or something very similar.  It has been quite humbling, but I am profoundly grateful for this self-awareness.  It instantly diffuses the situation in my mind and brings me to a state of profound gratitude.  There is a prayer that comes to mind, but I can only half remember it.  It goes something like, "Lord, thank you for allowing me to see the depths of my weakness, and how it calls upon the abyss of Your merciful love." 

But I still wish I could remember to turn off my high beams.

1 comment:

  1. After my c-section I had a moment like this as well. I thought I was recovered enough for a "quick" trip to the grocery store, but by the time I was heading back out to my car, I was hurting and moving very slow. I know I looked like I was taking my sweet time crossing the street and crossing across the parking lot as cars waited for me. "Note to self," I thought, "you never know if that able-body-looking person getting in your way just had abdominal surgery." Very humbling.