It isn’t what you say, but rather how you say it…
As an engineer, whenever I experience a string of events with a common theme, I investigate to find the cause. What this thing just an anomaly or did it have some underlying meaning that I need to be paying attention to? Is this experience a lesson just waiting to unfold as part of God’s wonderful plan on the path to wisdom? Lately… I’ve believe I’ve been the on the receiving end of some very significant lessons from God.
Recently, I’ve experienced both my girls coming to me in a less-than-positive manner and me responding with the words “it’s not the words you’re using, but the way you’re saying it”… that delivery is just as important, if not more so at times, than the words spoken. In essence, the girls are learning that when interacting others, they must maintain the 4-T’s… truth, tact, tone, and timing. It makes sense to a generation that lives in a texting world which is void of vocal inflection to maintain a stance of “I only said …”; not realizing that their tone and tact can change the real meaning of their words. So, too, are our attitudes towards God and others. Psalm 94 and 95 share words of being joyful in all we do. Isaiah 39 associates the word of the Lord as good and offering peace and security always. With 184 references to the term joy or joyful, there is something to how we are to approach life according to our Father.
Even though each of us struggle with the day-to-day issues, I believe we’re called to rise above our circumstances and honor our Lord and Savior joyfully. Life really is quite beautiful… so full of magic and possibilities. I believe that we have mistakenly associated disappointments as negative events… that in some way, God uses disappointments as punishment. Could it be that disappointments are one of God’s many blessings, designed to gently bring us back onto the path He wants us on as He knows better than us where we should be? So… perhaps… disappointments don’t indicate the end of our story, but rather a gift of something leading to a more happy and fulfilling life?
Whether he realized it or not, my Dad helped me prepare for when I sit across from God when that day coms and take accountability for my actions and decisions in life, including with my girls… that when all things, as the apostle Paul stated, “are done with love”, we model our Father’s love for us towards others. And, that while the storms in life will come, that even in those storms, during the loneliest times of all, we’re never alone. That love is the most powerful force on earth… I’ve seen what it can do, and what can happen when we don’t offer love to others. There truly is enough love to go around… all we need to do is to share it! What if God’s love for His people really is constant and unchanging? What an incredible world it would be if we could begin each day believing in our souls that nothing could ever take that God’s love away.
With each passing year, I understand more just how wise my Dad was. That while he may not have expressed himself perfectly, the essence of his messages were spot on. As I reflect on how I interact with my own children, I see just how right my Dad was in the way he raised us. That the common theme in all my Dad’s teachings was love, and he unknowingly was modeling in many ways the love our Lord has for us… undying and unconditional.
Heavenly Father… while I get it wrong most of the time, You still love me. While I get discouraged, You continue to support me. And when I come to you asking for help, You’re still willing to teach me not with just a feeling inside that you offer, but in tangible ways through others that come into my path and experiences that I can related to. Father, please help me to align my ways with Your so I can embrace Your will and not mine, as You know me better than I know myself. After all… You made me… who better to understand me. Lord, help me to approach all I come in contact with, with love, so that they see You and not me. Amen.
Greg Stefanelli (gstefanelli)