Not sure if you can admit that you wish you could take back what you just said, or that you have wished you had just kept your mouth closed. Not sure who gets the full credit for a statement I am going to share, but some give credit to President Abraham Lincoln and others credit Mark Twain for saying: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and removed all doubt.” In the Book of Proverbs, chapter 17, verse 28, scripture reads, “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.” I share this scripture because recently I wish that I would have applied this very advice in my own life. It is tough sometimes to admit our wrongs and even when we might have hurt others.
The day started off with a proper positive attitude, but like all people, there are moments and situations that we find ourselves disgusted, upset, or being negative. I had been standing in a long line which normally isn’t a problem. Actually I am one that often will stand in that line to later compliment, when it is my turn to check out. In sharing a lot of the time employees will laugh and smile, and sometimes they will even share a difficult customer or situation they had to deal with. It is not uncommon during our conversation for an employee to say, “It has been packed all day” or that they can’t wait for lunch or break time.
My situation happened without warning. The checkout process was going just fine. I only had two items to purchase and the transaction and our conversation had been very little actually when they said to me “What do you think about this year?” then she said, “This year was horrible and what did I think about this year?” Without a moment of thought I said, this year or any year is actually an awesome year. If you’ve had ever lost a child who had never seen a single year then you would change your thoughts. WOW, I couldn’t believe I had just said that. What was I thinking…well obviously I wasn’t? I could easily say that she had asked me the question, as a way to excuse my reaction. I could say that the statement I made was true and that the truth should always be told, but again that is not always proper either. My reaction was totally personal, and totally not appropriate for this type of situation. I immediately knew that what I had just said was so wrong for me to have said. I only wish now that I had just kept quiet. Why did I need to react that way…I didn’t need to. I was sorry and while I might have been granted forgiveness, the person who my difficulty was with now was going to be me.
Dealing with disappointment, heartache and losses that sometimes are deep within us is a real challenge. It is my normal practice to be positive, encouraging while also being real and true to myself, and experiences I’ve had in life. I have helped grieving individuals put things in livable conditions before. These include the death of children and the loss of pregnancies as examples of tough situations that develop out of life. Some might suggest that in time things will be OK. Time helps but time doesn’t heal.
My great-grandfather Nasby Mills, his favorite song was “Farther Along.” The truth of the song is life here is difficult to understand, and only when we are with Him, the Savior Jesus Christ, will we understand things. This is the Christian perspective, I only wish I could get at least one or two questions answered while I am still here, living life now. In counseling I have pointed out the benefit of experiences.
For example, any mother that has become pregnant has a blessing over the lady who would love to have that experience but for whatever medical issue a pregnancy will never occur. The loss of a child before their entrance into the world while devastating, does have merits that should cause us to be thankful to God, for all things, even when we don’t understand. The Bible says “Children are a Blessing of the Lord”, and I believe they are.
Cherish your experience if you are a biological parent. For those of us who are not, we have the blessing of adoption, parenting without the blood connection and the opportunity to be a parent in other relationships that we count as our blessing.
“Treating people as you want to be treated” should be a recurring thought and it should help us in both our reactions and our responses. Life is not easily traveled, there are many challenges, and we are each going to say things we will regret. Mercy and grace will be our best solution. Duplicate and recycle.
Contact Tim H. Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @THMills.