“In life you can choose to be a pebble or a boulder.”
I used to say this to my children￼￼￼ as an illustration to how to treat people.
In a society ￼that has become less and less civil and more bellicose, I am reminded of the importance of this sentiment.
When I was raising my young sons, it was inevitable￼ they would come across a play-yard bully once in a while. Both of them have a strong sense of fair play￼￼￼. What’s right is right. What’s wrong is wrong.
And yet, it is a truth to say that￼ difficult people will always be in our lives. In our house we call them sandpaper people￼, (because they can really rub you the wrong way.)
He knows this. There is nothing new under the sun. ￼And he intimately understands the human heart which is why he sent his son, Jesus, to show us how it’s done. ￼￼
And it comes down to the golden rule, “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. ” Luke 6:31 ￼
And this is how I explained it to my children – life is like a lake. The lake rises and falls and goes with the tide. When you throw yourself in to the lake as a pebble, the ripples you make move across the lake and gently kiss the shore on the other side.
Those same ripples can buoy another person￼￼, lift them up and help carry them ￼to their destination￼, whether it is to just make it to ￼the end of a difficult day￼ or to overcome ￼a big challenge￼.￼ However, if you throw yourself into the lake like a boulder to make the loudest noise, the biggest splash and cause the greatest damage that gentle ripple will turn into a raging wave and drown others in your path. ￼￼￼
We are called to be cognizant of each other. If you cannot be kind, be quiet. Sometimes that’s all we can do, because the situation with the person can be so frustrating.￼
￼However, in ￼the book of Proverbs 18:24 we were told to have a friend we must be a friend first. And though not everyone seems like a friend – I often wonder of myself too late, ￼what would a kind word, a thoughtful ￼effort￼, a discerning pause choosing not react to antagonism do for that person?
I was laughing with my husband just the other night – it seems like most of the women that I am close with at my work started out as sandpaper people. It was just a matter of stepping back and trying to see these people with the eyes of my heart rather than the eyes of my head.
As for me I have a natural temperament to be a boulder, not a pebble￼￼ so I must preach this lesson to myself daily and pray￼ in the meantime I don’t drown anyone :-)￼
Amen and amen.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. ￼￼Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, ￼forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 (ESV)