Thursday, April 29, 2010

Having My Way

I like having my way. This is not a shock, I know. Most of us I suspect like having our way. What is so strange is that some of you don't see things the way I see them and this means that often I don't get my way because of you. When I was a kid not getting my way was so difficult that I would complain to my parents and they would respond the way parents do: "Life is not fair." I really hated that answer but now I know that it is true. I still don't like it but it is true. One songwriter I know says this way: "The only thing that's fair is the weather." (and that changes, I might add.)

Now that I am a "big boy" I have had to learn how to cope with this not getting my way thing quite a bit. First, I got married and even though my sweet wife is very understanding she still wants her way so we are always having to practice give and take. I like the take part but often I must give. Second, I had a daughter. She has always been a very agreeable person but even so her ways are not my ways and through it all I learned that I don't get my way even in parenting. Third, I work with people. Hundreds and hundreds of people who all seem to want their way and often their way is so strange and doesn't make any sense at all, but they often get their way.

One thing that I know now is that getting my way is not the secret to happiness. I have gotten my way on several occasions and lived in misery as a result.

Learning to live with others and to love others when I don't get my way is good for me. It teaches me patience, makes me see others points of view, and challenges me to love people even when we do not see everything eye to eye.

Paul, the most prolific writer in the Christian scriptures, has this personal "thorn in the flesh" that he prays to God about. If he got his way, the thorn would be gone. He didn't get his way. (II Cor. 12) He did get an answer - he got "grace" - abundant grace. Not a bad deal really - he learned that grace was better than getting his way.

Just thinking, Steve

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