Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Adversity and beauty

It started off slow - we (Yoyo and I) got up late and got to Killington even later (10am).  Once we got there, I couldn’t get my season pass.  They showed no record of it.  I got upset.  I tried not to yell (but I did use that indignant tone that my voice is so used to).  And then, after exploring Cheek's record and mine, the clerk told me they just didn’t have record of any season pass purchase this year.  I told her I planned to ski that day and she said I’d have to pay.  It really bothered me that after 5 years of season passes, they couldn’t give me a comp day.  But, I said fine and paid.  

One other related thing - I couldn’t find my blue shell.  The jacket that rarely has a use except for on semi-warm ski days.  Couldn’t find it.  Still don’t know where it is. Then, when we finally got to the slopes and started skiing, I got a text from Amber that they didn’t have the tire I ordered at Tire Warehouse.  I got so upset... why had they lied to me and told me yesterday that the one I ordered was there, in their shop?  Why would they take advantage of her?  What the heck!?  

Three strikes for today.  I’m getting very angry.  I want to flip out at anyone who’s nearby... I want to give everyone a hard time.  Being frustrated is contagious.  It’s easy to pass it along!

So in the car ride home from Killington, Yoyo and I were talking.  The question that was made silly by the bracelet came to my mind.  What would he do?  Yoyo asked, would he even be skiing at all?  We agreed Jesus probably wouldn’t have used a lot of money to go skiing... unless of course, it was a way to spend time with people or a place to teach or learn.  We do know Jesus thought that what comes out of your mouth is what defiles you.

My mind went to Ned Flanders.  There is something Jesus-like about this character.  I say this because Ned sacrifices at every turn.  He offers his things to his neighbors, exactly as Jesus suggested. If Ned is wronged, he seems to consider in his heart of hearts, that maybe the person who wronged him was misguided, or, that there was an explanation that was not yet known.  I started thinking like this - maybe Killington’s ticket system screwed up when we bought the passes in the spring.  We didn’t have a printer at that time so couldn’t print a confirmation so who really knows what happened after we finished the online buying process? Our credit cards weren't charged - why not? The fact that I didn't follow up the day after when I didn't get an email confirmation makes much of this irrelevant.  

Turning my attention toward the many possibilities rather than the blame of another led me to ways that I contributed to the problem (I didn’t get a screen shot of the ticket confirmation, for example, and, I didn’t confirm with the tire guys whether it needed to be the AT or the HTS).  I started remembering my identity as a fellow human, that gets it wrong too.  My desire to blame Cheeks for making the wrong choice on the tires or to yell at Killington diminished.  What’s even more interesting is that my lack of blaming allowed Cheeks to feel her own concerns.  Her heart got heavy.  She felt partly responsible for the season pass issue (she was the one buying them in the spring) or the tire (she was the one at the shop making the decisions).  And while her own conscience was working on her, I was feeling genuinely bad for her (and my prior anger).  What a beautiful change from me getting upset with her, giving her a hard time and her shutting down.  This is how we were made to learn and grow!  To recognize our own shortcomings and deal with those and to let others do the same and to care for them as they do that work. Thanks to Matt Groening for creating Flanders!

Thank you Lord, for the adversity I experienced yesterday, and the goodness that came from it. Help me to remember!

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