Today is the second day of the Lenten season.
Over the past weekend, and up until (Fat) Tuesday, I contemplated what I might give up or commit to do for the next forty days. Things like, "I could give up Starbucks," or "I could commit to exercising four days a week without fail," or "I could [fill in the blank]" ran through my head in a never-ending stream of nonsense. While I was waiting in the car rider line Tuesday morning, some of Alabama's finest licensed drivers showed up and were in the car rider line with me. At the same time, a lady was on the radio talking about her own Lenten decision. She talked about how one year she gave up sweet tea for Lent and how, at the time, she thought it was a big sacrifice. She then went on to say how stupid and selfish she felt several years later because Christ had given His very life for her and all she could give up was her tea. This statement made my wheels start turning.
At that point, I realized something I could do that would be beneficial to myself as well as help me be more Christ-like. I decided I will quit using words that are not nice words (read: ugly words). They do nothing extra to convey my point within a sentence. They do not make me sound lady-like. Most of all, they do not sound like words that Christ himself would use.
As I mentioned earlier, I was in the car-rider line when I had my epiphany. Just moments prior, I'd been cut off by a lady in a blue Camry. My immediate reaction was not what it should have been. I think I yelled something to the effect of, "What are you doing, you freakin' moron?! I was totally in front of you! Idiot!"
I'm able to convey my words, thoughts, emotions, etc. through this medium without using those colorful adjectives and four-letter flourishes. So, why can't I transfer that to my real life? The one my family sees. The one my kids see. The one my friends at church see. Who knows, they might see me in traffic and, in an instant, change their entire opinion. God may be grooming and nurturing a relationship and I could ruin it by my own impatience.
So far, I've done well. I'm looking at this as a small step on the way to being a better Christian and just a better human-being. Everyone deserves a kind word, whether they can hear it or not.
What can you do to better yourself over the next forty days? I challenge you to not just think about it, but to pray about it and ask God to show you what HE would have you do.