For those who know me, it will not come as a surprise for me to say that I am a woman of action. Given a task, I do it. Admittedly, I do not have the level of energy I once had, but I am still task driven. That translates … or perhaps “slithers” snake-like… into my having the sense that if I see something that isn’t working quite right I consider that it’s my job to fix it.
A recent example is fairly innocuous. I went to Burger King for a value menu lunch recently. My bill was $3.52. I gave the clerk $5.02. The register said my change was $4.52. At that point I volunteered that I should only get $1.50 back for change – and the cashier said he knew that. (Already I had overstepped in my zealousness.) When I got to my seat I looked at the receipt. He had totaled my order to $3.52, correctly keyed in the amount of money I gave him, and got the wrong answer about what to dispense as change. As I ate I considered going up to him on my way out suggesting he inform someone about the problem…after all, someone else might not be so adept to know the right change and might rely on the machine’s answer. BUT… (applause for me), I told myself it was not my job.
I could be busy a lot – there are many times I see things or situations that I think need fixing. You know as well as I do that this is not always a way to make friends and build relationships. I must say it is pleasing to me that even at my ripe old age, I can still learn.
As for the lesson, I ran across this post on Face Book a couple of days ago which stated it eloquently. It was written by theologian Frederick Buechner and comes from a work called “Telling Secrets.” This is what it said: “Stop trying to rescue, to judge, to manage the lives around you…remember that the lives of others are not your business. They are their business. They are God’s business…even your own life is not your business. It also is God’s business. Leave it to God. It is an astonishing thought. It can become a life-transforming thought…unclench the fists of your spirit and take it easy…What deadens us most to God’s presence within us, I think, is the inner dialogue that we are continuously engaged in with ourselves, the endless chatter of human thought. I suspect that there is nothing more crucial to true spiritual comfort…than being able from time to time to stop that chatter.”
I shared this quote and some of my experiences lately with a friend who is very wise. He reminded me that in twelve step programs one guideline that’s taught is to remember that other people have their own higher power. And I said, “And it’s not me!”