Do You See What I See?

Betsy, as promised, here’s the story…

At training camp last week, I entered the primitive shower stall ever-so-gently, trying not to waken my sleeping cabin-mates. And there it was. A cricket on the floor of the stall. Shudder!!

Have I ever mentioned - I have a thing about crickets. I absolutely LOATHE them. If they stay outdoors in their proper habitat, I can manage, barely. But should they dare to enter MY habitat, they become an endangered species.

It all goes back to the summer of ’79. A rainy summer it was, that first year my friends and I rented a summer cottage (think - converted garage) in the Hamptons. By summer’s end, we had enough of the rain, especially since it brought crickets and their incessant chirping inside. I learned to ferret out their hideaways, anticipate their jumping trajectory, and have my flip-flop poised, ready to trounce. I became a serial cricket-murderer.

[by the way, one of the kids at training camp told me that when he first heard the term serial murderer, he wondered why anyone would want to kill cereal. But I digress, sorry]

Now toward summer’s end, I developed a fierce case of bronchitis. When my friend, Donna, went out for the evening, I rested on the couch in the living room. Delirious with fever, not quite awake or asleep, but somewhere in between, I see it. Sitting on the coffee table beside my bed. Staring at me with its hideous eyes. Antennae quivering. A giant, white albino cricket. And I do mean giant - it was the exact length and width of the coffee table. Frozen under my sheets, I sense it poised, waiting to pounce at my slightest movement. My lungs constrict as I ponder its possible trajectory.

Ah! Lights flash in the driveway. A car door thud, followed by the crush of gravel underfoot. The screen door creaks and Donna enters the room. Courageously, I shout a warning, “LOOK OUT FOR THE CRICKET!” Baffled, she asks, “What cricket?”

What cricket??? Is she blind?

My arm pointing to the offender, I shriek, “THE GIANT ALBINO CRICKET ON THE COFFEE TABLE!” And then with a huff, I turn my back to both Donna and the cricket.

In my mind’s eye, I saw both Donna and the imaginary cricket, so I pose the question:

How can she miss what I can see so clearly?

Which, in my illustration-grappling mind, translates to “Why doesn’t everyone see things my way?”

Ok, so that time, it was a fever-induced hallucination. But there’s many a time that subconsciously we picture ourselves as “the smartest person in the room,” so why isn’t everyone listening to ME? And though we may not say it, we wonder - Can’t you see my brilliant wisdom?? Can’t you see the situation or the solution as clearly as I do?

Be it is a colleague at the office, a fellow team member with a differing leadership style, someone in our circle of friends or a family member, somewhere along the line, it is certain that we will encounter a thorn in flesh, and when we do, we need to get over ourselves.

When I have that prideful attitude, I’m wrong even if I’m right. In his letter to the Phillipians, Paul says it this way:

If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if His love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever...

The Christian life is not a “my way or the highway” life. Before insisting on our way, we need to consider others better than ourselves. Who knows? God used a donkey to speak to a prophet. Imagine what can He do with me when I set aside my own agenda.


Donna Bolster said...

Susan, that is a winner of a message. And your humor is always wonderful. (Sometimes I think you've been following me around because when you describe you, you describe me!) Your insights are marvelous!

Jeanette Levellie said...

You probably don't care, but the Chinese consider crickets good luck. Of course we know there's no such thing as luck, so there.

Loved this story, and your application from it. You are one wise sister!


quietspirit said...

We all have a fear of something. Jesus tells us to trust Him. I like that passage from Philippians you used. It reaches into my soul and makes me take notice.

Linda said...

Wonderful post-I have so enjoyed reading this today!
We all have fears and and trusting is sometimes difficult as we do not completely give our difficulties to the Lord to bear for us.How wonderful that we have a loving Heavenly Father who we can go to when our troubles weigh us down!
Love your insights and thank you for sharing. Please do drop by and visit my blogs:
Simple Womans Daybook and Days Touched By Grace.

Amy DeTrempe said...

Great post. I've found myself forgetting to follow His lead instead of my own.

Paula Greene said...

What a hilarious story about seeing the cricket!! And a great illustration about pride. Your connection show insight...thanks!!