Thursday, October 11, 2012

Houston - Spring, Texas; October 10, 2012

"Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated." Acts 15:37-39

I've been on both ends of this situation.

I've done something, out of my own hurt, that caused someone to say, "We're not compatible as friends," and they moved on.

Even though, I wasn't given any more than two texts to explain myself.

I tried to apologize four and a half months later - after seeing them at a race on Thanksgiving Day -- after they asked me not to contact them anymore (and not thinking about the implications of that) and they claimed that they filed a stalking and harassment claim against me with the County Sheriff's Office.

At the same time, there have been things that I haven't agreed with, but I've not separated myself from my friends.

However, I've removed myself from various situations so that I wouldn't be a stumbling block.

Tony Dungy, in today's entry, "Free to Disagree", of his "Uncommon Life: Daily Challenge" book asked, "When you disagree with a coworker or friend or spouse or pastor, how do you handle it? With grace and understanding or with anger and bitterness? Do you force that person to accept your way? .... And your witness may be impacted too; others may see you or Jesus in a different light if you can't handle conflict."

In the first situation, I realize that my witness with that individual is likely damaged forever regardless of who is right or wrong. (In that situation, a friend of that individual gossiped things to me which caused me a certain amount of hurt.) I have to hope and pray that the other Christians in that person's life will one day to be able to be sure that they've accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

In the latter situation, that happened as late as earlier on the evening of October 10.

It was a situation that I was having an issue with, but I didn't want to be a distraction to a cause that is going to do, I believe, a great thing in the lives of others.

And the situation is eternally insignificant, but I'm still working through being friends with people who are friends with someone who caused so much pain in my life the last year and a half.

I'm getting better at it, but if there's a possibility that I wouldn't handle a situation in which I might not be able to control my emotions - or, in this specific case, if I was phony around somebody that I had an issue with, then I would be completely in the wrong.

So am I handling conflict in my life well enough?

I don't know. I guess only time will really tell, but I have to have my emotions under control with Waverly being in her last year at home before going off to college.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Houston - Spring, Texas; October 9, 2012

I got off the beaten path, didn't I? Wow. I have some catching up to do.

I met a new friend last Sunday afternoon and after reading their blog (that they haven't updated since about the same time), I was motivated to get back to the task of writing out some of the things that are or have been going on in my life.

Today's entry of "Uncommon Life: Daily Challenge" speaks to a topic of "More Valuable Than A Picasso", but the uncommon key is: "What do you consider of eternal significance in your life?"

To me, the bottom line is one's salvation.

And then, on, October 9th, I went to bed. I got up, this morning, October 10th, and re-read part of the entry that Dungy wrote -- and realized that it was very similar to what Pastor Randy Harp at North Park Baptist Church had to say on Sunday.

Dungy was writing that "society places value on objects, on wealth, on the size of our houstses, and on the number of cars in our garage. Society emphasizes things like resumes, trophies, awards, and winning simply for the sake of winning."

He added, "Society has inverted the things it considers valuable with what God intended for us to place first, the ones He says should guide our lives."

I would agree with that. I've met a lot of people who are like this.

But Bro. Harp, in speaking about being part of a community and why some people aren't, asked, "How many people, in their last moments of life, ask for others to bring all the awards, trophies and things that they accumulated here on Earth to their bedside?"

The answer, of course, is probably no one. They ask for their family and friends to be close by when they pass.

Dungy wrote, "And so our calendars are often empty of time with our families. But whom will you call to your bedside in your last hours of life -- your banker or your stockbroker? Or your loved ones?"

That answer is painfully clear.

A friend of mine stated in a Facebook comment, "Wait until she finds out what a big deal YOU are."

The individual that said that I consider to be a good friend, who I do some race announcing for a race or two of theirs, and I know exactly what vein she was saying it in, but really I just want to try and be a big deal for God, if I can.

My daughter already is. And for that I'm so very thankful for.

Hopefully I have some time left to catch up. Or, at least, that is what I strive to be able to do.