Sunday, June 6, 2010

In it for Ourselves

It's interesting how quickly and easily another person can crush our spirits.  I wish I could remember or find the exact quote now.  However, Elisabeth Elliot said that many adults are, in fact, not adults at all.  Instead, they are really more or less overgrown toddlers climbing on and trampling over other toddlers in the play pen to get to the top.  They pay no mind for the pain others go through in order for them to get where they want to go.  And when they might be found to be in trouble, they quickly and easily point the finger to somebody else who really ought to take the blame.  

This evening, I was happily taking care of a few things and looking forward to a new day tomorrow when I received an e-mail that really brought me down.  It was telling me that I had not done something that I was asked to do.  I actually had done what I was asked.  It was, in fact, that the other person had not realized or remembered what the request actually was.  Everything came down on me as if it were my deliberate choosing to be irresponsible or maybe some sort of incompetence on my part.  I felt like a popped ballon where one tiny pin prick allowed my whole surface to fall apart.

My immediate reaction was to fire back, "No, actually, you said..." or "I didn't mean to." But I sat there and I thought about it and I prayed about it.  Then, I came to the conclusion that it is better to say nothing and simply just do the thing that has been clarified to me. One quote that Elisabeth Elliot has said for sure is, "Silence, as someone has said, is the mother of prayer and the nurse of holy thoughts. Silence cuts down on our sins, doesn't it? We can't be sinning in so many different ways if we are being quiet before God. Silence nourishes patience, charity, discretion."  I realized that retaliating or saying anything would have been me trying to save face and that would only be a manifestation of pride.  

It is usually in our nature (and I'm pretty sure this is what this person was doing with me) to place blame elsewhere because the weight of blame for a mistake is uncomfortable.  Maybe the person said the wrong thing.  Maybe I actually heard the wrong thing.  Is either one of our mistakes earth shattering? No.  Is it worth getting upset over? No.  So, being an adult doesn't depend on whether others are being adults.   It depends on training your mind to understand that life isn't about you and your world isn't the world.  


 If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!
Rudyard Kipling 


  1. These are very wise words and thoughts! You are a mentor to those much older than you.

  2. I agree with the previous post. Very meaningful.
    And vote for Lauren in the yobaby contes.