I was asked to speak this last week at the FHA chapel services, and before speaking I did my usual — I went to starbucks to drink my grande latte in a “real” cup and go over my message notes. Just as I sat drinking my coffee trying to formulate my message I smelled a scent that burned my nose hairs!! Just so you know I don’t do well with odors of any kind and I tend to over exaggerate the situations as well. Before I knew it an older man sat at the table next to me. He looked like he’d been growing his beard since 1973 and by the smell of it he’d been wearing that outfit to.
I had this crazy internal dialogue in my head that sounded kind of like this…
“OMG I can’t breathe…I am gonna throw up!!”
“Seriously, I am going to have to leave now!!”
“You can’t leave! How unchristian like of you!
“You are gonna leave cause he is smelly!??? You are a horrible person!”
“I am not done with my coffee, OMGOSH my coffee. I can’t drink it now!! Do I get a paper cup, or do I throw it out?”
“Will I look mean if I leave? I am totally leaving”
Now picture me with my scarf held up to my nose while I am having this conversation with myself! And yes, he by this point has totally noticed my mental break down due to his epic smell. I know, I am embarrassed even as I write this out. I am a horrible person, I already know. No need to judge me, I am judging myself. Well you might of guessed it already, but I asked for a paper cup, poured my coffee into it and totally walked out of Starbucks. But to my surprise the homeless man was gone already, and now walking around the parking lot! I was like, “great, this is it, he saw me and will probably say something to me, or worse rob me!” Yes, I had this WACKED out scenario in my head! As I practically jogged to my car I noticed he was also walking towards my car! I then fumbled to get my keys out and before I could leap into the safety of my car he smiled at me and got into the BRAND NEW ACURA parked next to me ….
I’ll let that sink in…
I sat in my car in shock and feeling like a total idiot (*this is stuff that only happens to me). It was in that moment I felt the Holy Spirit once again remind me that my perception of my life and the things that I am currently encountering was totally wrong. Let’s not forget that I totally acted like a five year old, and I allowed something that caused me physical discomfort to shape my reaction to my moment.
I began to think of how I have allowed the fact I’d been tired all week to determine the tone in which I responded to my husband. I allowed my attitude to shift into Diva because the A/C in my office wasn’t at 68. It was like a movie in my head of the last month, of the last week, and then of that moment.
I sat with tears in my eyes and said, “I hear you Lord… loud and clear. I’ve been walking in the flesh and not in the spirit. The temporal has guided me and not the eternal, I promise to make a heart shift.”
So I say, live by the Holy Spirit’s power. Then you will not do what your sinful nature wants you to do. – Galatians 5:16