Who’s watching you?
Like not in a creepy, I’m-in-your-house-horror-movie-kind-of-way…but who’s watching how you do life on a day-to-day basis?
If you’re thoughtful about it for a minute, you’ll probably come up with the usual suspects: spouse, kids, co-workers, friends, bible study group (for you pious — *wink*) …but what about the rest of the world? What about the people who see you outside your “protective, I’m-a-nice-guy bubble”? What about the young kid getting ready to check you out at the grocery store – wondering just how ornery you’ll be after having to wait for umpteen price checks and double coupon day? What about the woman at the airline gate – already in the midst of dealing with 20 other passengers who will likely miss their connecting flight because of weather.
And it’s not just how you engage in potentially crabby situations either. What about when your server forgets to add the appetizer to your bill? Or when you get credit for your colleague’s great idea?
There are variations of this quote, but I think this is my favorite (emphasis added):
“Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Sometimes, it’s not about specific situations either – sometimes it’s just in the every day stuff of our lives. If we can be really really honest…who would we be if we were as genuine and transparent as possible? This one is a toughie for me, because just when I think I’m being “real” I often get caught up wondering what someone else might be thinking about my “realness” – good or bad.
Years ago I helped in a regular rotation with the kids at the church I attended. At this particular church, we would bring the kiddos in with the adults for praise and worship and then take them into another room for a more child-friendly lesson related to God, the Bible, etc. Well, it’s no secret that I love a good worship song. One particular Sunday I was surprised by the internal stress of whether I should be policing the behavior of the children or engaging in full on worship as I would most often do otherwise. After a few minutes of thought, I felt like the right thing to do was to model for them what it can look like to try to honor God in this act (I should mention that there were several adults on each team so I wasn’t just letting them fend for themselves). I bent to my knees and lifted my hands and sang my heart out.
And, in that moment, was rewarded with this:
As the song came to a close, a tiny little girl – I forget her name now, but she was probably 5 or 6 – came up behind me, wrapped her arms around me and said in my ear “I (slight pause) will remember you always.” Not. Even. Kidding.
Is that not cool?
God showed me in that moment, “Michelle, it is important how people see you.” You see, He knows our hearts. Yes, He knows our shortcomings…but He also knows when we try with the purest motives we can muster up. And He not only knows it, but the Bible implies that He honors it. (Acts 13:22). That’s who I want to be to the world. For the kiddos in my life, for the guy at the grocery, for the waitress…
Lord, let me live my life in such a way that I’m not only ok with other people watching, but I look for opportunities to model who You are and what it means to serve You.
“…The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance,
but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7