Mar 12, 2016

'Why can't he just nod?' | Manna for your Soul

I am a hypocrite. 
One of the things that annoy me as a driver is when I am nice enough to give way to another driver and he/she doesn't even give me a nod or a thank you wave. I used to mutter 'How rude!' but then I remember the number of times I don't always acknowledge another driver's act of niceness everytime.

Now I'm a very polite person because I mind my P's and Q's and I value other people's time and life and whether it is a person who waits tables or the janitor, I always remember to say my P's and Q's. 

But it wasn't always like this. 
Back when I worked odd jobs for survival, I've been unceremonilously thrown out of homes and jobs. Some of my best life lessons have come from the most demeaning places I have worked in. Then I got into Customer Service and I realised the importance of being polite and not expecting anything in return.

Then I worked under a ruthless person. She was insecure and inexperienced in managing people and would bully me at work, mocking me and making me feel inadequate and worthless in front of everyone else. I'd lost all hope of working with integrity and honesty when I was being mistreated. 
That was when a colleague said something that stuck with me since - 'Work, not as if you are working for earthly masters, but as if you are working for the Almighty. Work with reverence knowing that your Father in Heaven sees your toil and anguish and He will reward you later.'
I took that advice and although I didn't stay in that company long, I forgave her for what she did. 

If you've ever felt thankless, then remember you aren't alone. 
In Luke 17:11-19, Jesus healed 10 lepers. Only one returned to praise and thank Jesus. Not that Jesus needed to be thanked, but because he wanted to show his disciples the flipside of being Jesus. The part of a ministry where people don't always stick around to learn more when their work is done. Sounds familiar, right?

Many people start their days with a lot of expectations. We wake up fully expecting to be alive and content until bedtime. We expect complete strangers to be subserviant and eternally grateful to our presence. We expect our spouses to babysit us. We expect our friends to provide us emotional succour. We expect our colleagues and work-masters to acknowledge, praise and reward us for our work. We expect God to be the 'go ahead of me and fix all the potholes' kind of a guy and by the time we rest our heads on our pillows, we probably have been like the 9 lepers who got healed that day but didn't return to thank Jesus. 
So while we expect a lot of kind favors from everyone else, we rarely reciprocate. 

I am glad that I chose to work for as long as I did believing that I was not working for a malicious bully, but for Jesus. I survived the experience because I wanted to glorify Him through all that I went through. The experience of working under a person who mistreated me the way she did hardened my resolve to be kinder to total strangers. 

Today, as I give way to another motorist, I don't wait for their acknowledgement or a Thank You, but I smile back. Because I don't know the story of their lives, and I don't know why they are bitter, but I know when I smile back, they are going to pause and wonder why I smiled at them first. Maybe my smile will brighten their day a little and probably inspire them to 'pay it forward' one smile at a time. 

You don't have to be a Christian to be kind. If you are reading this post, you already have everything you need to practice random acts of kindness everyday. 

I dream of that day when we can step out of our homes and see people smile and not scowl at eachother. 
I am praying for that day when we make it our habit to be kind first. Because that day will be the most beautiful day ever!

God Bless You All!
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