Last night I took part in a Twitter Party with Twittermoms during the NBC family movie A Walk In My Shoes. It was about two mothers in two completely different positions in life. One was a married school teacher who, from what I could tell, had pretty much focused merely on her own life to the expense of her own personal family and the personal lives of her high school students. The other mother was a windowed mother who was working hard to keep her family’s life afloat following the death of her soldier husband in Iraq. She was behind on all of her bills and her rent. All of that was coming up on her at once. Her teenage son, an English student of the other mother, and she was very overwhelmed. As it turned out by way of a car accident the teacher/mom switched bodies with the widowed mom. What she learned as a result of her unique circumstances was that she needed to be less self-focused and focus more on the lives of those around her realizing that not everyone has it as good as she does and that some people are truly struggling to just make it day to day.
There were so many life lessons to learn from this family movie. I wish that my family had been home to watch it together. But they were each out doing their own thing. One of the greatest lessons that stuck out to me above and beyond any other is that life isn’t always neat and squared away for everyone. Especially in today’s world people are just like the widowed mom and are struggling just to keep a part of their lives above water enough not to drown. Sometimes we get so self-involved that we forget there are hurting people all around us. The lady standing in front of us at the grocery store may be spending her last dollar on food she is gonna have stretch out until the next payday. Here I am throwing anything I want into my cart not thinking about the price because we have plenty of money in our checking account to cover it. There may be a family in the car in front of me whose children are begging their mom/dad to stop at McDonald’s for a happy meal but that mom/dad has to say no to them because there isn’t any extra money until Friday. My kids’ friends may not be able to get their school work turned in on time because they are too tired to do it the night before due to having to work a job in addition to going to school just to help support their family. At the same time that I am pouting because we don’t have a 3rd vehicle for Michael to drive to school so I’m not inconvenienced by not having a car to drive all day there could be a family praying their one car they have to share will run long enough to get them to work and back home one more day.
There are hurting people all around us. And I know that I don’t take the time to stop long enough to consider what they may be going through and how I might be able to help them. Maybe a smile is all they need to keep from falling apart in a puddle of tears. Maybe I can offer to pay for the person’s McDonald’s order in the car behind me even though I have no clue who they are or how much it will be. Maybe we can offer to drive a child to school who lives in our part of town so their parent doesn’t have to worry about having gas money to get them to school. Maybe we could volunteer to babysit for a single mom one evening every now and then so she can have some time to herself in some peace and quiet and do something for herself – like take a hot bath and read a book in silence for a couple of hours.
When we do things like this we are showing love to those around us. We are getting out of ourselves and serving our neighbor. We are doing what God commands us to do to serve those around us and to treat others as we want to be treated. John 13:34,35 commands “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.“ And we are instructed in Matthew 7:12 is the Golden Rule tells us “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…” Finally Galatians 6:2 instructs us to “Bear one another’s burdens”. Our goal as Christian is to be Christ like and these are His instructions to us from His Word.
So, I learned that I am too self-involved and need to focus more on serving others and stop worrying so much about myself. How about you?