Have you ever been on a two lane road behind a car driving REALLY slowly...turning corners with painful precision...stopping at every speed bump? You think you might just lose your mind?! You want to honk to speed them up! You could just pass them, but with your luck, you’d end up at the same destination!
Maybe the reason they’re going so slowly is they have a casserole in the back seat. If they took a corner too fast, that casserole would topple all over the place. They’re doing all they can to hold it together; it’s only covered in aluminum foil, and if they hit one pothole…splat! Lasagna everywhere!
The casserole example, which I heard years ago, made me understand how we don't have a clue what's going on in someone’s life. Like the book Redeeming Love (which I just read for the 4th time) we don't know the path someone has walked--what bad cards they’ve been dealt. They snap at us, and we call them jerks. They don't talk to us, and we think they're snobs--could it really be that they’re just introverted?!
Ten years ago in the late fall, I was that lady with the toppled casserole. We had just lost a third family member in 9 months; a child had pneumonia; the dining room ceiling fell through; the refrigerator flooded into the dining room; and the fan belt came off my car. I was prime for an explosion. And then it happened: My son and I walked into a store. I didn’t get the discount I wanted (I hadn’t read the coupon properly) and I.Just.Snapped. It wasn’t pretty, and frankly, it had nothing to do with a silly coupon. My “casserole” had finally toppled over, and the poor cashier felt the brunt of it.
As we walked to the car, my embarrassed son said, "well, that was awkward." Thanks, buddy. He proceeded to tell me that I had become one of those people I complained about, and that cashier would probably go home, telling her family about a crazy lady with the coupon. He also told me that I wasn't being very Christ-like acting that way; how would she know the love of Jesus if I was being so rude? These were his exact word! (Ok ok! I got it!)
How humbling is it when our children are more mature (at times) than we are! He was exactly right, and I felt so ashamed. Sometimes we just need a little perspective--at least I certainly do. I’m thankful for that day ten years ago as my sweet son helped me with my attitude and perspective. I prayed I would do better next time.
Thanks for journeying together with us on this sometimes crazy car ride! And if you're transporting a casserole, put it in a heavy duty container!
Til next time,