Take the High Road
Sometimes we pride ourselves on taking the high road. We teach our kids to be the better person. But if we don’t do that willingly and joyfully, if we aren’t serving genuinely from our hearts, it shows and the fruit is lacking.
The other day I was at an event with a group I’ve been apart of for over a decade. For much of that time, I’ve honestly been on the fence about whether or not I wanted to stay a part of this group. Mainly because I just don’t feel like I fit most of the time. Ever been there? But I’ve stayed, hoping things would change, going through phases of really trying my hardest to reach out and connect, alternating with phases of apathy.
Afterwards, I was kind of mentioning to my husband that once again, no one even tried to talk to me. Now… some people do think I’m shy, but when you get to know me, I’m not really. I go to other groups, events, and places with no problem. But this one specific group always tends to be this way. So, I was re-hashing for probably the 1000th time how I don’t understand it and why am I always the one that has to be the servant and take the high road? Why am I the one always having to do the reaching out and trying to connect? In case you’ve never struggled with this… a lot of people actually do, so much so that there’s other articles about it on the internet (see below).
And so on…a quick google search yields many results like these.
So I shrugged my shoulders and walked off to go to the restroom. I was partly talking to myself (yes…don’t act like you don’t!) and partly talking to God, when I asked again, “Why do I always have to be the one to take the high road?” And I heard as clear as day, “Maybe God is trying to teach YOU to take the high road.” (Like, duh!) To get the full effect of it, you really have to put a heavy emphasis on YOU. Kind of like in the movie Polar Express, when the Conductor says,”He will choose one of YOU” as he looks intently at the little boy main character. (See the clip here. Polar Express Clip -starts around 4:05.) I believe God was revealing to me, that sometimes those of us who “always have to take the high road” are maybe the ones that need more instruction on taking the high road. OUCH!
I’ve been reading a new book recently called Discerning Idols. And it’s not just talking about tangible things…money, houses, cars, golden calves…The author K.B. Haught talks about the idols of the heart. The reasons behind why we do the things we do and why we stress about things and try to control things. For instance, the desire for money may not really be that you have made an idol of money…it may really be that you’ve made an idol of feeling secure. So when we are the ones “always having to be the one taking the high road or being the servant,” maybe we actually struggle with that. Maybe we want to be served a little too much. Maybe we have an entitlement issue. Maybe we are a little proud. Whatever it may be, I got a wake up call.
It’s all about Giving
It seems like this whole year has been about teaching me more and more that life is all about giving. I finished reading a devo by Ann Voskamp, mentioned here where she stressed over and over that love is givenness. God so LOVED, that He GAVE…. Then I read another book for business growth on relationship marketing. It intrigued me because I’m all about making things personal and growing deeper in my relationships. And guess what…the main point… all about GIVING. Then I picked up another book by Kris Valloton called Poverty, Riches, and Wealth and you guessed it. Having a wealthy life (rich in love, rich in life, abundant, etc) is all about being generous and GIVING of yourself. Now I’m reading this book, Discerning Idols, and man… it is bringing to light (a little too much for my liking) just how many idols I had tucked away in my heart. And now God revealed to me that I need to be taught a little more, to be a servant and take the high road, instead of being the one served. All my life I’ve tried to be a kind, helpful, servant-minded person. But I still need lessons. #workinprogress
So friends, I have two things I’d like to say to wrap it up. First, if you find yourself not relating to anything I’ve said and you have no problem whatsoever connecting and feeling welcomed…you might just be on the other side of this scenario. I have to say to you, please…please don’t look down on those people that seem more quiet or stand-offish, those that don’t bubble about and talk up a storm. Don’t write them off. Understand that there may be something going on in their lives that keeps them from being more talkative. 1) They may have deep insecurities that began in childhood, 2) They may have a fear of rejection or social anxiety, 3) They may have stress or struggles that no one knows about and they don’t feel comfortable confiding in those around at the time, but it’s weighing heavily on them, 4) They may not feel good. Chronic illness is everywhere today. If you see someone who has a wall up…tear it down! Talk to them, get to know them, include them. EVERYONE…I don’t care how “introverted” they claim to be, EVERYONE wants community. It is an innate human desire/need. Plow ahead and get to know them. GIVE connection to them. Chances are, you’ll both be blessed.
Romans 12:10 says, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. I like how the ESV states it…”Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Outdo one another in showing honor.
And secondly, if you totally relate to what I said here, don’t give up. Check out some of my previous articles on ways to connect and help for the socially awkward. Check out all the amazing resources on the internet to help build better relationships. Because in the end that’s what life is all about and community is worth it. Your relationship with yourself, with your family and friends, and your relationship with God. Maybe God has you in a waiting period for connection for some reason. Or maybe you’re like me and need lessons on giving of yourself, being a servant, and taking the high road. Let go of the fear or pride or self-focus or whatever is holding you back and GIVE of yourself to others. Let this be the year of giving and connecting. Will you join me?
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