Monday, March 16, 2009

Flying Loser

I am on a plane today, which differentiates it from most others. Flying is so funny to me. It really is the experience of “the masses”. I am an inexperienced flyer these days. I will prove it to you; I forgot the “put-your-under-3oz.-liquid-items-in-a-baggie” rule, so I had to ask for a Ziploc at the x-ray machine. I went through my whole purse searching for liquids. Surprisingly, I have a lot. I was the, “you-can-go-ahead-of-me-because-I-am-not-ready” person. Afterward, I texted my husband and told him that I am lucky that I fly like I drive…pretty oblivious, so it didn’t bother me, but I didn’t ask anyone in line with me what they thought.

Then, upon sending my purse and three plastic bins through the x-ray machine (I am returning home this afternoon by the way, I just like to be ready), everything, keys and pens, etc., fell out of my bag and onto the conveyer belt. The kind TSA guy offered me a handful of my belongings…twice. I also sent my boarding pass through the x-ray machine in my computer bag, so I had to get permission to walk through the body search machine, promising that I would remedy the situation as soon as I could locate the proper documentation.

I just think that it is hysterical and I am sitting here in my window seat giggling as I write. Again, I did not ask anyone else in line what they thought. At this point, I am not entirely sure that my fellow passengers would find me as funny as I find myself.

Airports take me completely out of my norm; I see what I do not normally see, and some of it stops me in my tracks, but it is nothing that has not lived inside of me at one time or another: rage, vanity, attention-seeking or sadness, some happiness, too. It is just more obvious when you fly because people do not worry about the common niceties or facades; they don’t care what you might think about their attitudes and/or lifestyles. In the course of my life, I have been every t-shirt, every expression and every wandering eye that I have seen in this airport. And, now I am free…thank you, Lord.

Upon waiting for the privilege to x-ray my many possessions, I was behind a college fraternity guy. I have nothing against fraternities. I was in a sorority myself, proof that there is life on the other side. His t-shirt proclaimed his Greek letters and read, “Whoever says winning isn’t everything, is obviously used to losing”. This sort of thinking has done DAMAGE to my worldview. I have believed for most of my life that there are winners and losers. I am sure that today, some might say that I looked like a bit of a loser with my mad flying skills.

My experience has told me that every game has a loser, every relationship has a loser and every conversation has a loser…and then there are situations when I have really been wronged but they feel similar to the others…I just want to win. Think about it with me, do you talk until people collapse in a heap in front of you, just agreeing so that you will go away? This has been me, controlling every word that is spoken. I have wanted so desperately to be heard and to hear, “Yes, you are right…I validate you”.

Or, are you passive-aggressive, meaning that you don’t have to have agreement in the moment, but you make people sorry later with silence or coldness? Both, and most things in between, say the same thing; I have the right to be right…the right to be the winner. See, I don’t want to be a loser. I don’t want to be taken advantage of and I don’t want to be a doormat. And here is the truth; I also know that my understanding of winning is twisted and destructive. I have broken relationships and hurt people that I love…and I have won.

1 Peter 2:23, hits me right in the face, “When he [Christ] was abused, he did not return abuse, when he suffered, he did not threaten, but he trusted himself to the one who judges justly”. Peter tells me that Christ left matters of justice to the Father. Is it fair the way that Christ lived or died? Was that the point of His life and death, its fairness? Aren’t there just some acts, some relationships, and some ends that are more important than winning?

So, I have to ask myself if I really even understand justice, the very core of who should be right in this life. I believe, and scripture tells me, that at my core I am defiant to Christ. When I see that verse, it burns my flesh. I want for Christ to cry out, saying, “Oh, you’ll be sorry…wait until my Daddy hears about this”. And that, amongst many other reasons, is why He is God and I am not.

Why do I want for Him to be right? So that he could be more valued, less of a “loser”? Christ could have been “right” in front of the Pharisees, but instead He chose for us to be right for all of eternity. You know what? That is not fair either. I need to leave matters of justice in the hands of the One who knows what is worth fighting for…I can tell you from experience that my pride and my defiance are not worth the fight. That is not why Christ fought.

Lord, give me the grace to let you fight my battles. Close my mouth and open my eyes to you. I trust in your justice and believe that you do know what is best for me. Give me victory over defiance, today.

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