Thursday, November 22, 2007

How do you respond?

I’m a seat back recliner. It’s what I do on airplanes. The moment the rush of speed begins on the runway, I push the silver button and relax. Today’s flight couldn’t have been more frustrating in that respect. At the gate, the (ahem) rather large woman sitting behind me knocks on my seat as if it were a door. Ignoring it, she finally taps me on the shoulder to tell me (not ask me) to put my seat forward….which I didn’t think I had reclined quite yet. Because of my confused look, she then explains to me that I put it forward by pushing the silver button. I push it.
Right at take off I recline, but only half way and then fall fast asleep. Waking up to soda pops cracking open all around me I hear the commotion once again. Because I was asleep, she has now started her plea with the gentlemen next to me. “I can’t get my tray down with her seat reclined! It won’t fit!” I push the button and sit perpendicular once again. Then I notice that the tray has nothing to do with the seat being reclined or not. Nope. That’s not the issue. I’m suffering because of her size.
Because I didn’t say anything on the flight I just needed a safe place to share my frustration!

Now I sit at Chicago O’Hare with many delayed flights due to the fog. Watching everyone’s frustrated faces has made me realize that I like how I responded to this lady. I didn’t give her dirty looks or roll my eyes. I didn’t have an “attitude” about me. I may have thought quite a few negative things within me, but I did not let them out. It shows me that I have the gift of the Holy Spirit living within me. I have sin in there too! That’s why I think such terrible things. But, I do believe that I am not acting on my sin nature, but rather the fruits that the Spirit gives. Gal. 5: 13-26 is a great passage that talks about the inner turmoil. I sense it and recognize it all the time. I’m not perfect. I never will be (this side of heaven.) But, I have a choice. We as Christians have a choice to show the Spirit living in us or live out the sin nature we were born with. What then would be the difference between us and non-believers? Showing the Spirit, GOD living within in such moments could truly be opportunities for people to see Something other than the wrong way to respond!

As I head back home at the closing of this conference I am eager to hug and kiss my children! I am thrilled that what comes next is Thanksgiving! I do have so much to be thankful for.

I met a woman at this conference that I fell in love with in a very short time. I’ll call her Joy. Joy is going through some of the most difficult trials that I can imagine as a wife and mother. The death of her youngest daughter and the process of a divorce with an unfaithful man stuck in sin. With two teenage daughters witnessing the carnage all around, she remains STRONG in the Lord. That’s really Who I fell in love with. It was Christ living within her. On a much larger scale than how I responded to the “lady” behind me. I see how Joy is responding to the platforms God is using in her life to show Himself. If anyone is reading this, please pray for her and her two daughters. God knows exactly who they are even with this pretend name that I’ve used.

Learning to live a spirit-filled life,
Rachel <><


Kimberly said...

I'll be praying for Joy! Thanks for sharing her with us!

Irritable Mother said...

I am praying for her, too.

Emily said...

Rachel, so glad you're back safe and sound! I loved your post. It is so true, the Holy Spirit is so at work in us and sometimes we forget how we might have responded if He were not in there.
I will be praying for "Joy", what a set of trials. Wow. I just finished the precept study on 1 Peter and so much of that book talks about trials and the closeness we have to the life of Christ as we go through suffering.
Talk soon!

StaceyStace said...

Praise the Lord for His work in your life, and that you are able to see it and give Him glory! Those split-second moments are when we show our true colors, and I'm glad you passed that test.

Chelle said...

Love the account on the plane. People are funny. I wonder why it's everyone else's fault for their own shortcomings? Guess it's easier to blame than accept responsibility.

Glad you were able to meet Joy, and thank you for sharing her story. She sounds absolutely amazing.

Anonymous said...

Glad you found Joy! In more ways than one!

Comment about the plane -- something else to think about. My mom is claustrophobic and doesn't love flying. So especially on a short flight, it is very difficult for her to ever be able to relax if the person in front of her reclines immediately upon go. She is not a large women, it just closes her in even further. So although you were comfortable, there may be a slew of reasons someone else might not be. Just something else to think about!

Rachel said...

To anonymous~
Thanks for allowing me to see someonw else's perspective. This is yet another reason that it is important for us to respond the right way! We have no idea what other people's stories are!
I receive your comment with gratitude :)