by Kent Burress
Last Sunday the fiery side of my Scottish heritage came out and I yelled at a couple of priests. It would have been three, but one of them saw what was coming and he darted out the door. Wasn’t any big theological issue, it had to do with some calendar confusion and double booked space. I had a group of colleagues coming for a meeting and the space I had reserved a couple of months ago was in use by another group. Calmer minds prevailed and we worked out a good solution and the meeting was very successful.
I tend to analyze situations like that–it’s my clinical social worker history–to identify the driving underlying issue. This one was pretty easy–I feared being embarrassed if I let my colleagues down on this simple task of arranging a space. But enough about that.
It did leave me thinking more about the idea that emotional responses are driven by either love or fear. I think there’s a lot of crossover, but I can agree with the general premise. Personally, I make a conscious effort to try to live a life closer to the love side of that spectrum.
Right now I’m reading “The Art of Racing in the Rain” and there’s a phrase in the book that sticks in my head… “That which we manifest is before us.” Had to think about what that means – had to think about what the word manifest even means – not a word I use on a daily basis. For me, that phrase is another reminder that we create our own future by the life we are living today. Sort of the old “you reap what you sow” line that my grandmother often used when I got myself into a jam.
If I live today grounded in love, gratitude, and caring that’s pretty much what I will be living in tomorrow. On the flip side, people whose todays are driven by the fear side of the spectrum can pretty much expect that’s what their future will hold as well. I’ll grant you that life circumstances have a lot to do with all this, but I see families everyday at the Ronald McDonald House who continue to live with a sense of love and hope even in the midst of some of life’s most difficult circumstances.
From that I take inspiration. So for me, I’ll keep working on veering toward the love side of the spectrum, even when I encounter people who just aren’t too loveable – but then I guess that’s when it’s most important to know what’s driving you.
I’m wondering- will I be coming from a place of love or fear when I apologize to a couple of priests this Sunday? At least it’s not three – that whole Trinity thing.