Sunday, November 13, 2011

What Is It With...!?

This weekend, I made my way to Orlando.  I spent the whole time with my girlfriend.  We went to just about every place in Orlando that we could over the course of a weekend.  We visited friends at UCF, visited some theme parks (rode rides, went into stores, etc.), and really got into our inner tourist mode.  It was great!! I loved to see her, and I loved to go back to a place that was so frequently visited as a child.

While I was there, I learned a couple of things about myself:

I like people.  I know that sounds strange.  And if anyone can attest for how outrageous that sounds, it would be the person who was next to me the entire weekend.  I said countless things about how irritating Orlando was; how I never wanted to return, how annoying tourists are, how bad the roads are there, how bad the drivers can be.  I didn't sound too pleased.  And if my trip was based on my comments, it would sound like a part in Chevy Chase's movie, Vegas Vacation.

But I REALLY like people!!!

In my moments of frustration, I realized something.  I am not the only one.  I wasn't the only one in the entire city.  I wasn't the only one driving.  I wasn't the only one lost.  People around me weren't the only tourists.  I fit in just right.  But that is not any sort of excuse for my behavior, by any means.  If anything, I should have been acting in a more friendly, welcoming manner; polite with my speech and mannerisms.

I suppose you can say I have been working on this.  But hindsight sure as heck is 20/20.  I find it much easier to look back and comment on what I have said/done, than it is to take strides in the present day.  So, as I usually do, I have been thinking about why this is.  Do I have an answer for it?  ha..NO!  But I have some insight into my new mentally established thoughts and reasoning on the matter.

One of my secret vices is not thinking before I speak or act.  It used to be worse in the past, but I have become better at controlling myself (or censoring myself) lately.  It's a process, making a decision.  One that happens so fast in our brains, that we generally aren't consciously aware of the decision being contemplated...until after we do them.  Eh chem..."hindsight is 20/20."  Anyway, the way I have been able to work on that vice is to actually attempt to think out the pros and cons of each decision/result.  Am I always right?  No.  And I let myself get in the way of myself at times as well.

Whoa, [WAIT a minute!?] what?  

Yes, I admittedly allow myself to stumble and battle with myself.  No, that doesn't mean verbally or physically fighting with myself.  I am talking about it from a mental standpoint.  For instance, when I am trying to decide whether or not to let someone in front of me, in bumper to bumper traffic, when I have to be in class in 10 minutes, and there is no way I will get there on time.  I could either move up and not them in (for myself), or I could just hold back and let the car through (for them).  In the end, [the funny part is] more times than not, the driver pulls through my lane into the traffic beside me.  I see it as God's way of saying, "Look, see, was it that big of a deal!?"  And that's isn't.  In the end, letting that person in makes me feel better.  I look at it like this (and this helps a lot): how would I feel if I were in their shoes?

Another secret vice I have, is the inability to withhold from worry.  I have gotten much better at it, but I still cause myself stress and worry (unnecessarily).  This worry is covered on a broad spectrum.  I worry about the smallest things, to the largest things.  One thing that I used to do all the time, is worry about my life.  I used to map out everything.  My entire future could be written out on a single sided loose leaf sheet of paper, with everything on it.  I have grown to understand that this is NOT how it should be!  Who am I to be planning out my entire life?  First off, doesn't that just set myself up for a let down??  Secondly, isn't God the One who has planned everything?  Shouldn't I trust in Him, and understand that it is (and always will be) His plan!?  I now live by this, that I learned: my plans < God.  But wait, does that mean that we shouldn't plan ahead, or desire things for our future?  I believe that it is healthy to have ambition; to strive for something great.  But if we turn to God, and strive to live for Him, then our path will become clear.  Do I plan ahead?  Yes.  But I am weary with how I do so.  I make sure not to look too far into the future, where I am unable to feel what He is leading me to.  

The idea of self.  Allowing ourselves to get in the way of ourselves.  One last thing on that topic.  Along with doing things for others and not trying to re-write God's plan, there lies the idea of confidence.  I believe that everyone has a sense of confidence in themselves.  But confidence is not defined as 'knowing that you are the best.'  There is absolutely zero reason why anyone should think that...but it still seems to be a popular thing to do.  People tend to make themselves something they aren't.  Boasting and bragging about themselves, and what they will become.  That, to me, is fake.  It is not believable.  And I have no problem with acknowledging that it is a sin.  It kills me to say that.  And I am not one to judge, ever.  But with myself, I try to ensure that I stay far away from this issue.  

Here are some bible verses to think about, in relation to this post:

Romans 12:10
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honor one another above yourselves.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

James 4:10
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

1 Peter 5:6-7
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

I know that the question may come up, in reading my blog posts:  why does it always come back to God?