Monday, December 19, 2011
The more I talk to people, the more I hear the words, “why me?” Why me tells me a few things. First, it tells me that people are suffering and are in pain. They want to know why out of 10 billion people on planet earth, they were the ones chosen to deal with such pain.
Secondly, when people ask, “why me” it tells me that people are in a state of feeling sorry for themselves. They’ve past the point of motivation, and perseverance and all they want are answers. But none of us are in positions to really tell someone the answers to their “why me?” We can help them reflect back on their lives, deal with their pain of the past and point them toward the truth, but the only person who has the answer is God.
I was in a place a long time ago where I would ask, “why me?” I was so very pathetic. I felt sorry for myself and was angry at God for giving me a life filled with people who hurt me, deceived me, conned me, lied to me and abandoned me.
Furthermore, I was taught “do unto others as you would have people do unto you.” So why all the pain? It made no sense to me and as far as I was concerned, the scriptures were a lie and that line was some pious attempt to get me do right!
It wasn’t until my brother Arnold, who died of cancer said to me, “Tori, I don’t ask, “why me,” I ask, “why not me?” My brother suffered from pancreatic cancer that spread to his lungs. Even while dying, he encouraged me and made me see that life is never about us. When he said, “Why not me,” he was saying, “who are we to question what God has allowed?" But I was too blinded over the fact that my brother was dying. I couldn't comprehend.
Years later, I got it! Years later, my “why me” turned into “use me.” You see, Rick Warren, says, “Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts. So, you will never, ever, ever, hear me say, “why me?” Instead “use me.”
If my pain can help heal a broken heart, restore faith in a fractured marriage, offer hope, encouragement, lift and help give life to a situation that was dead years, ago, use me! I’m a willing vessel. I now know that it’s not about me….my story is for someone else. Your story is too. So instead of asking, “Why me,” ask yourself, “why not me?” Prayerfully, you’ll arrive at the place where you will say, “Use me.”
Friday, December 2, 2011
Driving home from work this evening was surely an “Aha” moment. I happen to be one of those commuters that no matter which route I take from my workplace, there is a ton of traffic. This time, instead of becoming impatient with the traffic, I decided to adjust my radio to a louder volume and enjoy the ride. Somewhere along my route, a car pulled in front of me. It was one of those driving school cars with the name of the school properly propped up for advertising purposes. I didn’t pay too much attention as I was busy deciphering the skills of the new driver. Beside the driver was the instructor who must have motioned to make a right turn into a shopping center. I was at a light and was once again able to notice the skills (or lack thereof) of this driver. The driver approached a stop sign and came to a complete stop. He then put on his left turn signal and made a left turn.
As my light turned green for me to proceed, I did so wondering if the instructor was growing impatient with the driver for coming to a complete stop. I mean, after all, it was past 5:00 p.m. and this instructor probably wanted to go home right? I even laughed silently as I imagined the instructor thinking out loud, “come on kid, just ease up to the stop sign and proceed slowly…no one ever really stops!” I also imagined him thinking, “If you stop, that is a second or two that is a pure waste of my time.” Imagine that?
How many times do we just proceed when we should stop and look both ways? Imagine the number of times we could have saved ourselves from a ton of pain and hardship, had we just stopped and looked both ways? The signs of life are there for a reason. Our signs can come in the form of a person, a word or song, but we rush right through them believing that the danger that lies ahead is for the other person, not us. While this young driver had an instructor coaching him to make the right decisions, informing him when he made the wrong ones and explaining why he should always stop and look both ways, I wonder if we have these kinds of people in our own lives or are we rushing through life, never looking both ways and never willing to listen to correction.
I’ve learned the hard way that if we want to get to our destinations sane, whole and healthy, we will have to sometimes come to a complete stop and look both ways. We may also require correction and discipline and while it may take an extra second or two to get to where we are headed, the end result might just save our lives.