If the World Didn’t Give It, The World Can’t Take It Away
It was recently my birthday, and to say that I was honored by those that love me is an understatement. For several weeks I was blessed by gatherings, text messages, gifts, and dinners. This truly was a birthday that will be stored into my memory and I am forever grateful.
Among the memories is one of my dear friend Jenny that kept texting me until she could locate where I was at, the evening of my birthday. She took the time to drive to the store I was shopping in, and asked me to walk outside so that she could give me a gift. I was so blessed by her presence and effort to drive all the way over to a store just to make me feel special.
This has been a stressful and overwhelming year for many of us, and the effort and love of a friend has such great meaning during this time, and can truly help us walk through the darkness of 2020. Moments like this, when Jenny drove around in pursuit of me on the evening of my birthday, was one of those instances.
When Jenny stopped to hand me a gift, her car was momentarily in front of the store, and cars were still able to drive around us on all sides. She had not been stopped more than 10 seconds before a lady was absolutely hysterical. She began honking and hopping around in her car and screaming at us. It wasn’t more than 5 more seconds before two more people within their cars were doing the same.
I hate confrontation. I hate it when people are upset with me, and I can’t stand the feeling of someone being displeased with me in any way. Yet in this moment I realized the fact that the American culture is slipping through our fingers on a fast train.
I live in Texas, and the Texas that I know is filled with people that are kind and look out for one another. We open doors for the elderly, we help a lost child find their mommy, and we wait patiently for someone in front of us to unload their groceries in their car.
Keep in mind we were not in front of the hospital ER, we were in front of Target on a slow Sunday afternoon at 4:30p.m. There was no life or death situation going on around here, and all the cars had adequate space to drive around us. But for some reason they literally could not stand it that my friend and I were having a 2 minute conversation in front of the store.
This is one of my firsts to what I hope to be many moments when I decided not to let the world’s dark and negative impression of people effect me. And I didn’t move. I continued my 3 minute conversation with my friend and motioned with a smile for those cars to drive around us. As they drove around they yelled and snarled at us, but the immense joy within my heart did not move.
If the world is not the one that hands you your joy, the world will not have the power to remove it from your heart. If the world didn’t give it, the world can’t take it away.
In these trying times, are we as Christians making an impression on others by jumping to change everything that the world dislikes? Do we curb our behavior for every offense, every distaste, and every fear? Although I don’t believe we should dig our heels in the sand to be defiant, distasteful, or displeasing, I also don’t believe that it is our place to jump to make everyone happy every time someone is unhappy.
Is an unhappy, unloving, and impatient person going to be moved by our willingness to do whatever they want, or rather by the Immoveable Joy that is overflowing from us?