Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What we Know

Finally able to sit and think and blog at a coffee shop - daily paperwork as done as it can be for now, to-do list virtually empty, and 30 more minutes before going back to work. Seems like it's been forever...

I've been thinking a lot lately about perspective. My thoughts on this sort of sprung from a horrible day of work I had last week. On days when I'm not at my best, I lack a good deal of compassion when the kids are awful. On this particular day, it seemed they'd all conspired ahead of time to try my patience in every way. Just about everyone tantrumed. Several took off their clothes. Grumpiness abounded. And sometimes, when a child looks at me as if their world has been irreparably disrupted by my telling them, "sit in the CHAIR please," "the trampoline is for LATER," or "Let's play the DRUM!", I want to stare right back at them and say, "You don't have ANYTHING to complain about. Your life is easy. Your parents take care of your every need. Your biggest concern is getting what you want in every moment. You don't have bills to pay. You don't have a concept of Future with a capital F. A hard day for you is when you get a snack that isn't your favorite. You have a whole team of professionals whose job it is to help you in every way they can. Please don't scratch me in the face because I'm asking you to sit in a chair."

But then I start to think about how similar we really are. Yeah, I'm not likely to take off my clothes when I don't get what I want. I'm not going to throw myself on the floor and self-abuse because I'd rather be in a different room. But, similarly to these kids, I know what I want and am disappointed when I don't get it. My concerns go a little bit beyond what I want to eat, what I want to be doing in that exact moment, how much longer I'll be in a specific room doing what I'm told. Instead, I'm caught up in thinking about things like paying for a surgery I didn't think I'd have to pay for, how much I desire to be married, how I'm missing certain people and places and times, how I want to be better at my job that I am... My problems FEEL bigger than their problems SEEM to me...but my concept of the world is bigger, so it only makes sense. Surely when your comprehension of the world around you is still limited and developing, problems that seem small to other people seem insurmountable.

But really, it should go beyond that. I'm not just an adult without developmental disabilities, capable of understanding the world at an adult level. I'm a person changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit. With an understanding that my sins have been paid for by Christ's finished work on the cross, that He has risen again and reigns in Heaven, that His Spirit indwells me and allows me to live a life that increasingly looks like His, that I will live for eternity in His presence, in the absence of sin, sorrow, and fear...with that understanding, EVERY problem of this life should appear as insignificant as being given a xylophone instead of a drum. And my inner tantrums are really as unreasonable as these kids' outward ones.