Two lessons. Four days.

Sunday. My phone rings. Its my sister. She’s out of breath. “Some lady at church tried to steal you mother’s wallet,” She says in between breaths. After careful interrogation, I came away with the whole story.

The story as it was told me by several difference sources, goes as follows:

My parents where in the back part of our church building and they came through the church walking toward the place where my mother had laid her purse. Upon seeing her purse on the seat unattended my father asked my mother, “Why would you leave your purse here by itself?” As she approaches her purse she notices that her wallet was missing. When my mother stated her wallet was missing, my dad noticed a woman who kind of looked back and speed walked out into the foyer. My father follows as closely behind her as he can but when he gets to the foyer he doesn’t see her anymore. He gets some women to look in the women’s restroom. While he was there, my mother has been told that person who stole her wallet was the woman my dad had noticed. When the women out someone tells him, “She went to  McDonald’s.”  Off to McDonald’s he goes. Once they enter the McDonald’s they notice that they do not see the woman. They head to the bathroom. They find the lady locked in the bathroom stall. She is surrounded by about 20 to 30 people,from our church, telling her to give up the wallet. My mother banging on the stall door. And another man, from the church, looking over the stall telling her to give up the wallet. She eventually gives up the wallet. Her significant other tells her to come out. She does. She apologizes and says she is having a hard time. The police show up and ask if my parents want to press charges. My parents find that everything that was in the wallet was there, and feel it’s not necessary.

Tuesday. I come to work to find a site wide email that states the person who facilitates the extra-curricular activities for  us has lost the camera that she used to capture the few moments of non work related fun we are allowed. Wednesday. We receive an email that says Good news the camera has been recovered. I said aloud “it would be crazy if the person took it to take pictures with over the weekend and then returned it.” Later, I’m in the break room with one of my coworkers and the lady who runs our activities walks in. She tells us that the camera was returned but the person left pictures on the camera. My coworker asked if she was going to have the person fired. She said no. She said something on the inside of them made them return it and for that I won’t go forward with it. She then says, “His grace is Sufficient.”

In both incidents, the parties had the right to move forward with the punishments that each of the separate parties had earned. But they didn’t. I thought about how sometimes we feel as though people have to suffer the the wrongs they have committed against us and/ or others. So we look for vindication and revenge. But bible says in Romans 12:19:

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

It also says in Galations 6:7:

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.

I was thinking about the first incident. Thinking how could someone do that in the House of God. Then I thought about how we do so many things in the House that we shouldn’t. That we have to get to the point that the reverence that people once felt is restored. And really it’s not about doing or not doing something because we are at church or because there is a punishment, but getting to a point where we just don’t do something because it’s not right to do it.

I have learned that I am a principlist. No that is not a word. But I have come up with a definition to better explain myself.  A principlist is a person that functions based off of principle. So I am that. I don’t have to be directly affected to feel something is not right.  My father has taught me not to allow anyone to be disrespected in my presence because if the person will do that in front of you they will do it to you. We all need to the be people and the change we want to see. Through this year I have seen many things that make me lose faith in some people but not all people. And most importantly not God. 

As we exit this year, that for some of us has been especially hard, look to the basic things for joy. If you look at your life and you feel that you are not where you want to be, know that you aren’t where you used to be. If you look at your life and say that you are not particularly happy, know that you woke up this morning and, for most of us, every morning this year without any medical assistance. Your life, my life, and countless other lives have been renewed to make the most out of all of days we will have. Go into this next year not making faulty resolutions but benchmarks. Where do you want to be this time next year? What do you want to ultimately what to do? Who is helping you? Who is hindering you? You don’t need a new year, new week, or new day to make the decision you can change directions now. You can move forward now.

The new year is bringing new changes. We have to get right or we will get left.

I thank you for riding with me through my inconsistency. I hope that you have at the very least enjoyed this ride. I pray something here blesses your day.

I am reflectively taking in Hillsong United’s Take it All while preparing for Nonfat Soy Half Calf.