Leave it alone

 I was pulling out of my driveway and before I put the car in drive to leave I took one last look at my house.  Just then a big wind blew and I watched as some leaves from my neighbor’s yard blew into mine.  I could have told you exactly how many leaves because I had raked up all of the leaves up in my yard yesterday.

My first response was irritation because their leaves “defiled” my yard and frustration that my yard is not going to look any better than my neighbor’s.  No one will even know that I rake my leaves and they may think that I don’t care what my yard looks like.

To be honest, its embarassing to type those words because they reveal how silly and selfish I can be at times.  They reveal how I often approach life.

When I was raking my leaves, I actually considered raking my neighbor’s leaves too.  The inner monologue that stopped me went like this: “What if they don’t want me to rake their leaves? They may be offended that I thought their yard needed to be raked.  If I rake their yard, they may think that I was upset that their yard still had leaves.  What if they think that I now expect them to rake their yard?  I wonder how my hair looks…” Well, we can stop the monologue there.

Isn’t it interesting how worrying what others think can stop us from doing something we want to do?  We can created a myriad of “what ifs” that keep us from the freedom of serving the needs of others. “What if people think I’m naive?  What if they take advantage of me?  What if they don’t appreciate it?  What if it doesn’t make a difference?  What if it makes others feel bad?”

I live with this unhealthy need to be understood and if there is a chance that something I say or do may be misunderstood, I often don’t do it.  At least, not when I’m living in my resources and not abiding in the love and acceptance of Jesus.

Abiding in his love sets me free to love, give, and serve the needs of others without fear of how I may be misunderstood.  Loving others is risky and messy.  It means stepping in when I see a need and doing something about it.  Love is never expressed in an inner monlogue with myself.  It’s expressed by serving the needs of others with the humble awareness that all of us have yards that get messy and need attention.

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2 Comments »

  1. Stephanie Wallace Said:

    Do you still need an umbrella for a girl????

  2. becca1612 Said:

    Great thoughts as always Jimmy 🙂 Thanks for sharing!


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