Friday, November 16, 2012

Why Don't You Make Me?

Do you remember those times when you were a kid and you would play games with your siblings and then undoubtedly as it goes with kids, someone would get mad and an argument would start? Do you remember hearing or saying things like this..."Give it back to me!" "No..come take it if you want it" "Give it back or I'm telling mom!" "No I said..Why don't you make me?" Kind of sounds like I have been there done that huh? :) You have to laugh at this behavior now. We are so innocent as kids. Our mouths would often "write checks" that are bodies would never be able to back up. I even remember the occasional.."My dad could beat up your dad" :)

We laugh at this and chalk it up to childish thinking. And it is true. It is childish thinking. When you are young you don't think or see beyond that specific moment. All you know is you want what you want and you want it right now. As children, we didn't like to be told no or to be denied a request when we asked. And if we were truthful about it, as adults, it really still does not sit well with us when we are refused something. I guess it is just human nature to hate or struggle with the word No.

I don't know about you but I have been sorely tempted as an adult to say "Why don't you make me?" Life tests our character and our resolve. We are constantly called upon to do what is right. To respond in the right way, to "act our age" so to speak. We are challenged to act graciously and to defer to others on many occasions. Can you imagine the look on someone's face if we responded sometimes in the way they truly deserved and the way we truly wanted to? Someone out at the store cuts in front of you and then snaps at you for being in their way...can you imagine the look on their face if you said "Why don't you come over here and face me like a man?" or "You do that again and I am telling my mom!" I am thinking that we could have some award winning America's Funniest Home videos if we tried that :)

We like to think that we don't give into childish behavior, but in truth, we have just "adultified" our bad behavior. We don't say things like "Why don't you make me?" anymore, we just hold grudges instead. We don't threaten to tell our moms and dads, we just go gossip to our other friends. We like to think that we are so grown and wise and that we have come so far, but if we really took a close look at ourselves sometimes, we could probably spot that kid in us, hands on our hips, shaking our heads and saying dumb things :) That is the thing about life. It tests us everyday to respond in the right way. I don't know about you, but I can't say that I pass that test all the time :)

Probably one of the most important lessons that my parents taught me in life is the difference in reacting and responding. A reaction is a quick thing, off the cuff, blurted out. First thing on your mind...is the first thing out of your mouth. A response is a calculated, thought about decision. It is human nature to react. You hurt me, I hurt you back. You do me wrong, you deserve what you get. But the problem with reacting is you never consider the long term consequences! You temporarily feel better and you get it "off your chest" but then you are left to deal with the damage you have inflicted. When you respond, it requires discipline, preparation and keeping the old proverbial trap shut. But a well thought out response allows you to articulate what you are thinking and feeling without having to worry about how far you are going to have to go back to fix things afterwards or how many words you will have to eat once you have exploded!

I am pretty confident that now that I have written about this, something or somethings will happen today to make me have to put this to the test :) I would like to tell you that I am confident that I will respond in the proper adult fashion. But even now that little short blonde hair girl is smacking her lips and looking for a fight! :) hahahaha Jesus give me strength to keep her in her place today!
In this thing called life with you my friends!! ...anybody want to play hide and seek? :) - April Phipps