Reaction Time


We all have two versions of ourselves: the one that responds the way we know we should to a situation and the one that comes out in our “not so shining” first second.

The other day I had a moment where something came up and my mind began to run hard down that road between these two people. My knee-jerk response in my mind is to spit fire, hurl stones verbally and physically but I was actually physically apart from the situation so I really couldn’t respond.

That gave me that window of time that we all know as “clarity” to get myself in the right head and heart space to act like an adult that mirrors something like Jesus.

All of that got me thinking. I think all of us, if we are honest, try to go back and pinpoint when we have felt grownup. What does that even mean. In my mind, and well, some parts of my body I still feel 18 but then I do things like pay my bills on time, oversee a big decision at work, put someone else’s needs before mine and I think, “maybe I am an adult after all”

Then something will happen and my reaction reflects the same thing I saw in daughter Aliza the first time she got a brain freeze. It was as if she was being attacked by some unseen force that she was powerless to fight. She looked like a wild animal. I fly off the handle and say ridiculous outlandish things to my kids about how terrible they are or take some trite comment from someone as if they really meant it.

In those really low moments it brings me back to the reality that I’m just not there yet. Maybe every day that reaction time gets a little closer to automatic, maybe every week I’ll become more selfless, but until then I guess I gotta come to grips with the fact that we all must live wit: There are no perfect people. In this season of the greatest undeserved grace given in Jesus maybe it’s a good time to reflect back on how you can love the other incomplete, imperfect people in your life. I know I have been loved in spite of what I deserve. I hope my reaction time to all of that can grow…smaller.


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