Sunday, March 20, 2011

Of Assumptions and Steamrollers

You've heard what happens when we assume things right?

I think sometimes people assume because I don't speak out a lot that I either don't have an opinion or cannot formulate one. Or they think I'm timid or afraid to speak.

I confess I may have said I don't love to speak in public. But it's not because I don't have confidence in what I have to say. When I am passionate about what I have to say, I have no problem speaking.

The other night the instructor for my class said, "God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason." Seriously, let's all think about that. Let's all just shut up once in a while, take breath, give our egos a rest and let someone else speak. :O

You know why? Because sometimes we ALL speak out of turn. We probably don't even realize it, but everybody does it. When I speak out of turn, when I don't think before acting...In the words of James Taylor, "I'm a steamroller baby, gonna roll right over you."

Sometimes I feel steamrolled. I am intentional about what I say and how I carry out a plan. I get so frustrated when someone, well-meaning I'm sure, rolls in and flattens the rosebushes I was trying to plant. While we may need a smooth path, they haven't considered that I might have planned the paths differently. They don't even think to ask. I grind my teeth and think, "Well, it's too late now. I guess we can use the rose petals to make potpourri."

I haven't quite figured out how to handle those situations. I don't like to be confrontational. Yes, I do believe that it's good to speak out, but I confess, I just want to get along. I want to be liked. I do have just enough insecurity to worry about how my response could be taken. Often I am so frustrated, I am afraid I will sound all shrill and witchy when I say, "Hey! You just steamrolled over a plan I had. Did it occur to you to think about the fact that I had something specific in mind?"

I admit it, when people steamroll my plans it feels incredibly insulting. Whether they mean to or not, they're suggesting that I had no plan or that whatever my plan was, their plan is better. Is that insecurity speaking? Perhaps. Regardless, this is how I feel and that is my reality and while I cannot control what people do, I can control how I respond.

My struggle is, what is the Christian response to a steamroller who thinks they know best all the time? How can I be humble and still let someone know they just flattened my rosebushes? I want to believe it's well meaning, but you know what I think in these cases? I assume that the person has no respect for my ideas or plans.

Yes, I have heard what happens when one assumes things.

Can you be a humble person and still be respected for your knowledge and ideas?

I hope so. In Luke 14: 11 Jesus says, "For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” NIV

I think I just got my answer. I don't know that I should confront steamrollers. Instead I guess maybe I should just be happy with the potpourri. My pride wants to speak out. Why do I have to be the humble one? I guess I shouldn't worry about what other people do, I should worry about my response, about responding in a way that honors God.

You might assume that isn't fulfilling. Haven't you ever heard about what happens when you assume things?

Lord, help me to remain humble when the steamroller flattens my rose bushes. You know what is best for us all, Lord. I am so thankful to know that you can use anything for good. When I remember that and forget about me, I find your peace.

-Wishing you lots of Peace

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