I love to fly the U.S. flag as a way of showing honor to this country that I love.
I am in the habit of flying the flag every day and it reminds me of the many blessings and freedoms I enjoy living in this nation. Sometimes the wind will whip the flag up on the roof, but it is a simple matter to pull it back down. That is until one day last December. The wind blew the flag on the roof and before I could correct it, the flag froze there. I have tried many times to dislodge it, but I have had to resign myself to the fact that it will be there until the spring thaw. And, in Michigan, that could take quite a while. So my attempts to honor the flag have consisted in tugging at it from every possible angle, trying to free it. I have been known to beat at it with a broom handle trying to keep icicles from hanging from the flag itself. All in all, it is not behavior that is recommended as proper flag etiquette.
I try to keep a sense of humor about it, but deep inside it bothers me because it is no way to show respect for the flag. But if I am honest, it also bothers me because I don’t want my neighbors to think I just don’t care. If it wasn’t so cold out, I’m sure I’d be out there explaining to them all that I’m not a thoughtless or disrespectful person. It makes me realize how quick I can be to judge someone’s attitude or motive based on some external circumstance. It is way too easy to assume bad intent when we don’t know all the reasons behind a situation.
Jesus tells us to judge not lest we be judged. He tells us to have no anxiety about anything. It’s really very simple, but I have a talent for making it so complex.
I find the only solution is simply fixing my attention somewhere more positive—to keep my focus on Jesus and let other things fall into their proper place. Mother Teresa is such a good model for this. Her strong faith and love kept her steady in much worse circumstances. Her books, Total Surrender and Loving Jesus are simple reminders to me of where my peace can be found, even when circumstances seem to work against me.
What little things have gotten out of proportion in your life? And how are you dealing with them?
Photo credit: Michael Elliott