God is teaching me to discover the deeper meaning in everything before I react, good or bad. Sometimes the purpose of circumstances is instantly revealed to us and sometimes it can take time. Either way we have to be sensitive to the word that He has for us or else we could miss a divine opportunity.
Yesterday I went to visit a friend in the new, ritzy beach town of Playa Vista, California located in West Los Angeles. I stopped to get some snacks at a local Whole Foods for our movie night. Once I woke up to the fact that even asparagus and pumpkin bread mix at this swanky market was out of my Olive Garden server budget, I decided to take my talents down the street to Trader Joe’s. Upon exiting the door that I had entered, a security guard came up to me. I greeted him with a smile, said, “Hello,” and proceeded toward my car. He asked for my receipt and I informed him that I had not made a purchase. He then pulled out his handy dandy flashlight and asked to look in my purse. I, of course asked him the obvious, “Why am I the only one you are stopping?” He replied,” You came out of the entrance.” I stopped, looked around at the dozen of of others, including the couple I had followed out of the same door.
I was pissed and that emotion turned into infuriation as I walked to my car. When I first arrived at that store, I was full of excitement. The festive fall decor, the couples sitting at the restaurant located inside drinking wine, this was my type of place to shop. But just that quickly I was turned off by the environment that I apparently did not fit into.
I gazed at my reflection as I walked into the automatic doors of Trader Joe’s. Maybe it was my natural curls combined with the off-the-shoulder tee and Nike jogging shoes I was wearing. But as I found myself stereotyping myself, I instantly was reminded that I don’t treat others differently and I expect the same respect. I turned on the gospel station and an old Marvin Winans song encouraged me to be better than my enemies and to love them instead.
I made it to my friend’s home with a new attitude and she suggested we watch Inside Out. After putting up a solid fight on why I should not be spending my Saturday night viewing an animated film, I resisted. And I was wrong. The movie made me laugh and cry, at the same time. It opened my eyes to the emotions that battle inside of me: fear/worry, joy, sadness, disgust, anger. They all want a chance to debut their skills in my life. I realized I have to recognize these feelings and what they mean. I can wallow in fear to protect myself from the unknown or I can fear and stand up to the possibilities. I can be joyful in spite of loneliness or I can choose to let out a good cry and then find the joy in release. I found myself accepting these emotions today and choosing to conquer the ones that were no good. I recognized a fear, prayed to God to help me overcome it, and He did just that and more. It was such a liberating feeling.
I want to be able to channel God’s purpose in every area of my life. I am recognizing him for the seemingly small details like making me cross paths with someone just in time to offer a smile or hug. There is not one thing that He does by accident. He is an intentional God who has designed every facet of your life for something greater than yourself. Nothing is about your own accomplishments. Life is about what you will accomplish for Him. Think about what you are doing, who it is affecting and how you can improve to make a positive impact on someone else.