Wednesday, February 3, 2010

the daily temper tantrum

So I had the privaledge of being with our friends as they dedicated their sweet baby girl at our church a week or so ago. & the way our church does baby dedication takes the parents through an exercise of prioritzing marriage & also thinking through now the character traits you hope your child will walk out the door with in 18 years. One of the things these parents mentioned was the hope that their daughter have a sense of gratitude. That she not walk through life feeling a sense of entitlement. That word always strikes something in me. I get what they're talking about. I agree with them. And I see the ugly monster of entitlement rising up in me all. the. time.
We have 2 friends (Troy & Mary and Amy, Sarah & Court)on 2 very different journeys in 2 different parts of the world.
Their stories make me see even more clearly how I have come to believe that I deserve many things. It's so easy to put the idea of people without clean water or food or a myriad of things we have total access to in the back of our if on some far away distant planet...for someone else to think about. And I have been praying lately for it not to all seem so far away. Which has made me just a little more sensitive of my sense of entitlement......for instance...
I feel like I deserve, whether I approach it that way or not I realize my belief that I deserve these things as soon as I am inconvenienced of not having them for even a short period of time....
*good, strong water pressure in my shower
*the people driving around me to yield to my right of way
*'proper' service when at a restaurant
*for target to have what I need when I need it
*to enjoy the food I eat
*to have dessert
*to have a healthy family
*to live a long life
*to live in the house I want to live in
*to have clothes that let me feel good about myself in the environment I'm in
*for the guy in the line in front of me at Starbucks to move up just 6 more inches so that I can place my order - there is actually a lot more wrapped up in that one statement
*medicine to fix whatever is ailing me not just right now, but yesterday

.....and the list goes on & on & on & reading their stories has been a humbling experience for me. We all have it. We all get bent out of shape when something doesn't go our way. Which I think keeps me, (I'm not going to speak for you but my guess is that maybe you, too) from truly knowing how to walk the way Jesus asked me to. How can I "lay down my life" if I am so wrapped up in expecting things to be a way that I "deserve" them to be?
So what are the things you feel "entitled to"? And if there's nothing - then a word of advice on how to keep mine at bay would be helpful.
I listened to a sermon a few months ago about submitting to one another......and how to practice to art of submission. He mentioned going to a hot lunch spot at 1130 . Stand in line for 30 minutes......and then walk to the back of the line. That one visual, I think, is a helpful one.
And I can't say that I have improved.....I have just been slapped in the face every time my blood pressure rises or I raise my voice for simply not getting my way. And then I hear the voice in my head...the one that says these words to my children on an almost daily basis...."are you having a hard time because you are not getting your way?"
That would be me.


Jill said...

Umm...yeah. Thanks for the convicting post that I needed to hear. I concur. It's me. And if it's a value I hope to instill in Lindy, I better start working on ME, stat.

Natalie said...

Loved that post! It's so easy to see entitlement in other people, but so difficult to see in ourselves. You really got me thinking...thanks!