Saturday, August 14, 2010
The Missing Words of Life
It's highly unusual that I post twice in one week, but I had something to share and needed your help.
The other day, I witnessed a mother screeching through a soccer field parking lot, not following the rules, but barreling through the parking spaces in an effort to get her daughter to the field on time. I could hear her screaming at her daughter and simply not paying attention to anything else around her. How did I see it? She almost rammed into the side of my van as she passed as well as almost hit a teenage girl making her way from the parking lot to the fields.
I dropped off my daughter (close to the fields) and then decided to proceed to see if I could find the “scary mom.” As I drove through the parking lot, I considered how I would address the woman once I caught up with her.
As God would have it, she had parked and scurried out of her car. I watched as she crossed the bridge out of sight.
The question still haunts me, how would I have addressed the situation? This is how I imagined the conversation might go:
Me: Did you know that you almost hit a young girl back there?
SM (Scary Mom): No. (OR) I didn’t come close to her.
Me: Why were you unable to follow the arrows and make your way through the parking lot like the rest of traffic?
SM: We were late and there weren’t that many cars. What is your problem?
I’m sure it would have spiraled from there.
Today, my husband and daughter were talking about the concept of self-esteem and how the world has twisted the idea of self-esteem. Society tells us (at least in this privileged American value system) that we are special. Psychologists have noted the increased rate of suicide and problems like anorexia, bulimia, self mutilation and drugs. They see there is a problem (as do all of us), and envision the solution as low self-esteem.
So while the world tells us that we deserve all we can get and that we are special, it has left out the most important factor of all. Why we are special.
We are special because we are created in the image of God and because He has created us to be special. Just as there are those who believe that we need to rid our monetary notes and coins of “In God We Trust,” as a separation of church and state, our societal system wants to rid our conscience by leaving God out of our self-esteem.
We water plants to nurture them to grow. But if we don’t feed them with nutrients from rich soil or fertilizer, we run the risk of not seeing a fruitful harvest.
It is no different with human beings. If we don’t feed the soul with Truth, we will not be fruitful either. We need to amend the self-esteem phrase to say, “You are special and important to God. You are made in His image.” Without the addition of God, the phrase, “You are special” rings hollow.
Why is this important? When we consider that Someone Eternal loves us, then we begin to foster the idea that others are special as well. We look outside ourselves and realize that everyone is made in God’s image and that nature itself comes from a loving Creator. We begin to treat others with respect. Of course the next step is that we consider nature as a gift from God as well. We can then make the transformation from those who care about the environment to stewards of the earth. The world then becomes an avalanche of respect instead of a cesspool of hate and disdain.
So what would I say to that mother after reflecting on this?
Me: “Did you know that you are as special to the world as the young girl you almost ran over?”
How can I improve on that statement? I would love to hear your respectful answers.