After all, I’ve been faithful all year and they probably won’t last more than a month or two.
I told you, it wasn’t a pretty side of me, but it’s my inner self; my flesh.
Recently it’s an elderly gentleman who carries a shopping bag full of, “who knows what,” and tries to take over the bike I have reserved with my invisible name plate.
If he beats me there, he’s usually not yet riding, but simply standing by the paper bag , which rests on my bike seat, digging deep below the raffia handles pulling out items like he’s Mary Poppins, himself.
Once he finally settles himself and gets on the bike, I’ve already clocked a good 10 minutes on a lesser-favorite bike. He begins to fiddle with the remote and aims it at arms length at the TV, unknowingly changing the channel on, not only his monitor, but two others, and mine as well.
I try not to show my frustration and simply change my channel back.
He continues his “channel surfing” and again, I find myself watching along.
“Don’t even breath a heavy, ‘Hmph’,” I tell myself. “He doesn’t know that he’s doing it.”
I return to my channel and hope I haven’t missed much.
Somehow, he finds dissatisfaction with every aspect of his TV monitor and wants to change the color, hue, screen resolution, image width, and even turns the “closed caption” on and off several times.
Needless to say, I’m surfing along with him with every click of the remote. I try to tune him out and focus on my workout and relax, but it is a challenge.
Electronically savvy, I’m not. But I do know how to work a remote and consider myself somewhat in tune to my surroundings. How can he not see that he’s changing MY picture?
As I left the gym that day, I began to reflect on the bigger picture in life. How many times do we point our remote, thinking we are only acting in our behalf, getting our way, or speaking our mind? Don’t we have the right to that?
What if the reality is that our actions are changing someone else’s channel or altering their reception? What if not everyone has the ability to work their “remote,” or is in the frame of mind to keep their cool?
Do I change someone’s picture when I become so wrapped up in my own stresses of the day ahead that I rush out the door to work and neglect my family? Will my daughter’s day start with a little less confidence because I don’t notice her efforts to look nice or compliment her hard work lately in school? What about my husband? Will he feel less honored today because I rush past him and don’t slow down to hug him, but simply throw back an, “I love you,” out the door as I leave?
Or is it my choice of words?
Do I change someone’s picture with my words when I complain at work, gossip about a co-worker, or even brag too much about my kids?
Will my complaining cause someone else to become dissatisfied with a job they always enjoyed or even hurt feelings of an employee or supervisor whose work is key to the area of my complaint?
Will my gossip catch like wildfire and hurt feelings, ruin friendships or cause depression or anxiety?
Will my bragging about my kids cause jealousy, even though I never considered that others don’t have the same resources given me?
Where exactly am I pointing my remote? How many lives do I affect with my choices, even the smallest?
Yes, I have the freedom of choice and ability to live and enjoy my life, but I want to make certain that since I know my remote has a wide target, the change I make is for good.
I will make a brighter picture for my daughter and husband by slowing down in the morning. I will take the time to notice the small details and lift them with positive words of encouragement and tell them how much I love them and appreciate them.
I will make a clearer picture for my students each school day as I speak positive words into their life and challenge them to focus and keep climbing, never giving up.
I will make a more beautiful picture for my God as I dedicate my spirit to serve Him with the remainder of my life. I will speak words of encouragement to those around me and live my life to glorify Him.
There is always a remote possibility to share a better picture with everyone.