Sometimes, if we keep our eyes open…we can have a ‘bar setting’ day.
A day when we really feel good about our shortcomings, cause we just have experienced someone setting the ‘bar’ for us…making it higher. It’s kinda exciting, seeing and actually experiencing someone giving us an example on how to become better, to make life that much more meaningful.
Yes, we have to look honestly about our shortcomings, but if people are excelling at helping others-then our shortcomings never become the focal point. The ‘show’ becomes others setting the bar higher for us, demonstrating how to make life so much more meaningful by their example. Yes-it kinda becomes a beautiful spectacle to behold 🙂
Today I was chilling out in our small town…as the name implies-Plant City. Our downtown can be walked backwards in less than 5 minutes…at least on a good day. You can envision the type of business and restaurants running down Main and Elm streets. Southern charm, buildings with brick and mortar over 100 years old. Small businesses and family owned restaurants competing with the national giants with good old fashion hospitality and home-cooked meals.
I noticed the friendliness in the family owned corner restaurant before, but it has been a while since I had a chance to visit anything other than the Wal-Mart corporate district, south of town.
The mom and son were on top of their game, passing out napkins, chatting to customers by first name, making changes in menus…like man was made to rule the menu, definitely not the other way around.
An elderly man came walking by, rather slowly…like he wanted to be noticed. The mom caught the clue easily. He did not look poverty stricken, but could pass as not well to do. They did know each other, because the conversation started easily. What soup would you like today, she asked? I can’t remember exactly, but she mentioned all the 4-5 soups cooking. She did not offer the one she had the most of, or the one that will not be eaten that day. She quietly offered to give him the one he wanted. I thought of our pet Diesel-as with yours, not being too shy about going for the one they liked…which you know is the soup he got.
Next, a young person walked by, and to show the extent of this families compassion, he was a minority. He too walked slowly, but with a cane. This time no food was mentioned…he just wanted to check in and talk. He made eye contact with several people while he was leaving, including me. It was just a calm subtle look, a look to remind us that people were meant to be connected.
When he left I looked over to the mom talking to a few senior ladies who were at the restaurant. You could see her explaining to them, something was wrong in the head, something that was not going well for that young man. She had to take her glasses off, I guess you know the reason why. She was crying and doing her best to recover.
Early on, you could sense there was something greater than normal was happening today, a lesson to be learned, a bar set on a higher scale.
In the Word, there is a statement by King David that mentions a point in his life where ‘ My cup runneth over’.
Ps. 23:5-6 ‘Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
We have to be ‘in the river’ for water to be running-overflowing out of us. I will be the first to admit, there have been too many days where the feelings of desert overtook the feelings of ‘rivers’ runneth over. Todays lesson felt like a cool refreshing rain. 🙂
A Hunch Confirmed
A hunch I had earlier was confirmed later by talking to the son. They knew the One who proclaimed He could make rivers of living water flow from heaven, out from within us.
John 7:37-38 ‘ In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. ‘
The wonderful lesson to me today was the example given by this family. It’s not where we are in life, but where we are headed. Are we willing to receive the lessons when they are shown to us? We may never be as ‘gifted’ as others who excel in different areas…but we sure can recognize a higher standard when we see it…and strive to become better than where we once were.
There greatest part…at least to me, is the absolute absence of any guilt, just excitement of making life richer and more meaningful. I believe they had help from above, and this family demonstrated compassion like a fine tuned instrument, something that could only be admired and in a special way, enjoyed.
As we grow-in making life ‘meaningful’ we simply process the ‘meaningful’ and allow it to grow within us. We thus have a side by side comparison of what has value and what does not.
The Apostle Paul unashamedly calls all the things we strive for from this world Rubbish-trash. (Philippians 3:8). In other words, what was meant for us by God is meaningful and has value, but things like pride, putting value in earthly things that are temporary…and all the negative harmful poisons we have picked up over the years are nothing more that garbage inside of us.
Meaningful things like compassion and works done from His will, have eternal value. The earthly things that feed only our ego…or striving for earthly short term recognition ‘by the praises of men’ are like harmful drugs. It’s nice to be appreciated-and encouraged in our lives. At times, it is wonderful and needed…but, making a priority to seek your value through others actually ‘devalues’ your significance. Peoples approval can change like the wind, but a life dedicated to accomplishing the works from heaven, especially those that come from the heart and requires our sacrifice; those pursuits have eternal rewards. See 1 Pet. 1:4-7, 1 Pet. 5:4
This family was focused on the important things in life-one being compassion. They did not try to publicize anything. The two different pursuits mentioned above cannot co-exist. We have to diligently work at applying His heavenly will and the lessons He gives us-in order to make us whole, to make us complete. It takes work, but…
That makes you into a beautiful, special creation, with value and ‘living waters’ flowing out of you. Nothing can satisfy our lives more than being soo wonderfully special that special is simply busten out of you into others. It’s so true, sometimes life just isn’t that complicated. We see the lessons-many times from above- we learn from them and practice them, incorporating them into our lives.
That’s the part of life that is living ‘abundantly’ –Divinely Special 🙂
John 10:10 ‘I came that they may have life, and give in abundantly.’ –spilleth over
There is nothing greater than sharing the ‘abundant’ part of our lives on earth together. 🙂
God bless, Bill
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