Five things

Today’s sermon had some really interesting things to say. Among them, the pastor said, if we criticize five things about our church but find nothing wrong with ourselves we are doing it wrong. Now, I plan to do a full write up of my church adventures of the day, BUT I think this idea deserves it’s own post. In fact I’ve decided to take it as a challenge. Since I regularly do criticize churches on points I feel they need work, it’s only fair to think up five things that I need work on.

1) I get angry.
I get angry and loud and occasionally mean. It’s stupid and unproductive and needs work.

2) Sometimes I have a little too much fun criticizing a bad job.
It can be productive to talk or write about a problem that needs work. However, I sometimes overlook the fact that sincere people may be behind it. It’s no fun to be on the receiving end of snarky criticism. I should probably give others the benefit of the doubt more often and be little nicer with critiques.

3) I take things personally.
So you’d think since I am good at criticizing others I’d be great with them when they happen to criticize me. Not really! I hope this blog never achieves fame because I’d be stuck with a lot of messages that make me sad.

4) I ignore.
I am great at ignoring when it suits me. I should probably be all super citizen and vote every election, adopt every highway, volunteer at more than one charity organization, and speak out on some issues. I don’t. I ignore big problems facing society because I’m either afraid to help or think I can’t matter. That is stupid. If everyone decided they couldn’t matter, democracy, charity and other collective efforts would fail.

5) My patience level constantly needs work.
This one often ties back to my first problem with anger. I jump too quickly to react with anger and negativity when it isn’t called for. And I hate waiting in general, so I get frustrated before I’ve actually found out if the thing I’m waiting for is ultimately negative or positive.

So there’s my list. I struggle with this stuff quite a bit. Sometimes I think I make a little progress. Maybe someday I’ll have it figured out.

Still Practicing Love

I’m still practicing love. Some people say it’s easy to love. I say it’s easy to try to love. For me, love doesn’t mean simple affection. Love means always looking out for someone’s best interests. Love means putting yourself on the line to see that this happens. Love means taking care of others at the cost of your own comfort. It would be easy and cozy for me to lie in bed Tuesdays when I’m supposed to be volunteering at a food pantry. It feels good to yell when I’m angry and figure out who deserves that anger from me. It feels good to spend and buy expensive things for me and just me.
But love, as I see it, is getting out of bed to help others. Love is NOT sharing anger regardless of your made up system of ‘deserves’. Love is buying the nice toys for Christmas for kids you’ve never met. Ok that last one is not too hard. Actually I have a really great imagination and love going in my mind and ‘seeing’ the look on their faces when they open presents. But you still have to get out of bed for it on a day you wanted to order in for sushi.
Love is hard. And I’m still practicing. Especially regarding anger.