When 14 of us from Mason UMC went 2 1/2 hours to Tyler County to work on a home a little over a month ago, I wanted us to go and spend the night with people from the Sistersville First United Methodist Church. The people here would rather not, so we drove up and back in the same day. I wanted them to spend the night to meet new people.
I have found that nearly everyone we meet can make an impression on us. I remember a young lady named Mary from a speech class I took at WVU-P in 2006. She relied on a wheel chair to get around. I remember her sweet demeanor, her faith in Christ, and her telling me she liked it when people sat down to talk to her so she wasn’t looking up at them.
I listened to a Joel Osteen sermon yesterday and he said he had been praying for God to change his wife because she always moved the phone on his desk when she talked on it. She would always pull it closer to her and he liked everything exactly in the right place, not an inch one way or the other (can you say obsessive compulsive?) He said God impressed upon his heart that it wasn’t his wife that God wanted to change, but him. Even (or especially) the people who do things that annoy or irritate us can help us change and grow to be more like Christ.
Other people can show us how to be more loving, more bold, more caring, more forgiving, more patient, more willing, more daring, more praying, more understanding, more selfless, etc. We have to be constantly paying attention and willing to learn from others. I am often guilty of thinking I know best. When I meet others who excel or even who are deficient in certain areas, I often find I still have a lot to learn.
I thank God for the people who cross my path that change me and help push me toward being more Christ-like.