To See Ourselves

I interviewed a man recently for a project I’m working on recently. He said, “You are always smiling and upbeat. I can’t even imagine you angry.”

It’s one of those moments when we get jarred out of our self-absorption and think about how others watch us, evaluate us, consider us.

What sort of image do you wish to project? Angry white man? Anxious mother? Bitter, negative?

Many times when I stop and consider how I looked to others in the past, I’m embarrassed. And, I have much to be embarrassed about.

I think about poor Peter, the apostle. He had one of those experiences where you are consciously outside your body looking at yourself. It was in the courtyard during Jesus’ trials. The third time he denied Jesus the cock crowed and he saw himself and was ashamed.

Seeing ourselves in the situation can get us out of situations.

Say we are standing in a queue. Maybe it’s for customer service. I see it often in airports. Could be somewhere else–the coffee shop, the grocery. Some obnoxious person is arguing with the employee. Getting nowhere, of course. We see ourselves in that situation and think, we don’t want to look like that. We put on a smile and treat the person kindly. Thank you Jesus for letting us get a glimpse of how we could look and changing before we have something else to be embarrassed about.

It’s not that I don’t have my moments. Last night at a busy intersection–lots of pedestrians–I was waiting for the crosswalk to clear before making a right turn (British readers must picture this in reverse, of course). Woman in a large SUV must have been in quite a hurry. She turned left in front of me with the crosswalk still full of people. Maybe I hit my horn button to alert her 😉 . I can get annoyed.

Anyway, after talking about Mr. Negative yesterday, I’m relieved to know that somehow my life has been molded so that I’m not that way.

And it’s not too late for you no matter what your age. God gave you consciousness and the power to choose. Peter reshaped his life and became a courageous and respected leader. You can become a better you.


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