Smashing to the floor, not once, not twice, but three times on the same day, flew some of our dinner dishes. How can the sound of a plate crashing onto a ceramic tile be so loud and painful? More unbelievable is my wife slept right through all three drops. Equally strange were my reactions. The first two times I was perturbed with the mess, but after number three I had one of my Mom’s thoughts run through my head, fantastic, things always come in threes, so all the bad things are over. End of story, NOT.
My dueling doubt mind was not going to let this ‘happening’ get by so easily. I always look for the secret message whenever something like a series of accidents comes along. The next thing I know, after putting the laugh out loud notice on Facebook about my doofus butter finger incidents I received a shocking article share from my wife. Just a couple of days after I posted my first blog, about a great story of someone with a changed life, national headlines appear on the newsweb about him being arrested on a DUI charge. Ahh, so that is what this ‘shattered’ word that was floating in my mind was all about.
I have written before about my almost incident recently click here if you want to read it which was similar to Maurice Clarett’s DUI, but fortunately mine was just an almost. But unlike just buying a new set of dishes (which my wife reminded me, the ones I broke are over 25 years old) finding people to model after and be inspired by is so difficult in this imperfect world.
Is it really that hard to find stories of inspiration that stick? Or maybe, do we expect people to perform according to a standard few can live up to? Right off the bat Clarett’s new role in talking to young college kids to not make the same mistake’s he has made in the past has been written off by some. Only one day after his arrest, this happened,
When some star falls down, because they have been put on the pedestal, people cannot wait to rip them apart and pull them off the top. The media posts pictures everywhere and stories are written highlighting every detail of their sad exploits. The self-righteous jump on board with condemnation and cannot wait for the chance to use it as an opportunity to scream, repent! From both views, the underlying concept appears as; that wasn’t me that messed up, or what they did makes my deeds look petty.
I admit, I am one of those ready to condemn and have been that way probably too many times. It is easy to do, because if we put some other persons faults at the forefront, it pushes our own issues to the back. We kind of like the sound of another person’s world getting shattered. We forget however, how loud the sound is when our own plate full of life falls on the floor and crashes to the ground.
Ironic was, I guess, that Maurice made a big mistake shortly after I wrote a story about him that was tied to a short encounter I had with him years ago. It does not change my story, nor does it negate the gist of the story that people do go through both ups and downs in life. If crashing completely, they can get their life back in order.
That does not mean we don’t stumble at times. We all mess up in life and if I have read Clarett’s bio correctly, his major change in life only started a few years ago. My prayer is that Maurice gets right back up after working through the consequences of his error. I also pray he evaluates closely the choices he makes not just as one that is ‘expected to be an example to young people’, but as one whose calling requires accountability. That does have a greater requirement than the average non-public Joe.
It was his world that was temporarily shattered, not mine. Instead of us pointing a finger, it sets an important reminder to walk the right path with a right heart, rather than becoming cynical and saying no one can change, or I am better than them.
Perhaps I need to go deeper? If you dare or care to hear more….
For many years, I carried some attitudes too close to the heart towards people who let me down. Some personal family crises came along that shattered our world. If you think God does not speak to us, especially through rough circumstances, think again. Stop and ask yourself if they are all accidents.
Speaking loudly, and to those who know me well they are probably sick of hearing this Bible verse, but Hebrews 12:15 is one I hold to tightly. Things happen to us and to other people and oftentimes sadly come from other people who hurt us. We have two ways to react to them, either forgive or get mad and ultimately become bitter about it. In the end, the ones who get hurt the most are we who hold on to the bitterness.
Hebrews 12:15 from the English Standard Version (ESV) states: “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;”
See to it means, make sure it happens. Other versions say ‘take heed’, ‘watch diligently’, ‘be careful’, ‘guard against’, ‘look after each other’, and ‘look carefully’. It seems like that is very important!
What we are to ‘make sure’ happens, is granting grace, unmerited or deserved favor, or simple forgiveness to ‘everyone’. That starts first with us. If we cannot forgive, our self, it is rather difficult to forgive all other people as well. Therefore, the option is unequivocally to always forgive, everyone, no matter who or what. Wow, that sure seems like an impossible task doesn’t it.
The alternative is stated in the second part of the sentence; allowing the start of bitterness to set in. Each time we refuse to forgive our self, or some other person for their deeds, it deepens the roots. We have that choice; yes, it is a choice, each time we deal with a situation with people. Forgive or be bitter.
This seemingly impossible task was brought to question by Jesus’ disciples in Luke 17. I’ll make you go read it yourself by clicking here.
The disciples were trying to get off the hook with the forgiveness thing by saying we need more faith. Matter of factly Jesus response to them was you do not need more faith. With the smallest seed of faith you can make mountains move. Forgiveness that comes from inside of you is plain making the choice to distribute it. It is plain and simple, see to it that you give out forgiveness. Simple in saying, but experientially we all know how difficult it is to forgive people.
The easier choice would be to criticize someone for their failures and misdeeds. If they did something to you, get even with them. It is easy to slam another person, such as Maurice Clarett, for what he did wrong. In doing so, it makes our own shortcomings a smaller issue. IF a person is a Christian and the person has The Holy Spirit in them, then they should be able to respond the same way Jesus did when He was wronged. He was wronged to the point of being put on a cross, yet He forgave.
We can choose to forgive, or we can choose to be bitter when wronged. When our ‘brother’ messes up, we can choose to extend grace or condemn. Next time you are tempted to choose the bitter condemning mode, picture the sound of a plate shattering on the kitchen floor. Let the crash soften your heart so you will see to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God.
Meanwhile – So as not be misunderstood, I am by no means suggesting a let people off the hook scenario, nor that I have the forgiveness thing down perfectly. It’s taken a lot of God lessons to soften this formerly bitter heart. If you have not read my bio, please do so by clicking here for the time I took steps to first be forgiven and doing that thing called repenting.
My understanding; when someone does something to you, or you feel it warrants them needing to be corrected, it is a private matter that initially is to be done one on one. I hope Maurice Clarett has people around him that have such conversations with him since his mistake a week ago, and no further steps of correction are necessary (aside from what the law is going to do, because there are consequences to our actions, of course) . If that has not happened, it may warrant a different tone.
I also am not referring to political issues, false teachings, governments and organizations… I am referring to calling out and condemning an individual. The main point is preventing shattering your own heart with bitterness or using another’s failures to attempt to permanently shatter theirs.