The View from the Side
Nov 15, 2013
This morning on a whim, I walked up my neighbor's driveway to see what my house looked like from the side. It's not a pretty picture....
There is a drain pipe that needs to be buried. The door to the crawl space has been left open. There is a pile of limbs, a piece of PVC pipe, a piece of concrete, a board.... To be honest, I feel a little embarrassed: how long has my neighbor been looking at my junk?
Some of my mess is inevitable: we had a little water problem (that's why the crawl space door was open) but most of it was me just not paying attention.
Fortunately, I was able to cleanup most of it in about 5 minutes. The board, pipe and concrete are now properly stored in my garage. The water under the house is gone, so the door can be closed. The rest will take me a little longer - and are on the schedule for this afternoon and weekend.
This experience has give me some new perspective on Jesus' encouragement about neighbors and the Golden Rule's advice to treat others the way we want them to treat us. As my walk up my neighbor's driveway demonstrates, a good first step is to gain some perspective: what does "my house," my actions, my ways of talking to and treating people look like - to them? In terms of carrying ourselves as "salt and light," here are a few questions that might help:
Who likes you? Is it only people who share the same faith perspective?
Do strangers talk to you? Some of that is personality, but do people who do not know you find it easy to talk to you?
What do your friends say? (Do you have somebody who could give you some honest feedback?)
Often in life, there are people who bug us. It is worthwhile, however, to turn the tables: who are we bugging - and why?