Several months ago, I was at work, standing in the main area where we usually start our day off, looking at a large display board that tells us how our day is going to go. This particular day, the atmosphere was a little edgy and heated. I work for the steel union, and this was around one of those times when the union and the company were having a disagreement of sorts. A disagreement like this usually amounts to a more stressful work environment, significantly less cooperation between workers and management, and far less friendly communications between the two as well. It can get tense.
This particular day, I was standing with a manager, also a Christian, having a discussion. It was not a most friendly discussion, although otherwise we got along great. I was expressing my feelings about how some of the issues going on between the union and management had a negative impact on how my day was going. I’ll just say it, I was yelling at him about how unfair the situation was for me, okay? It was not a high point for me, nor were several of the days leading up to this day. In fact, most of my low days occur at work. I don’t want this section of my life highlighted in bright yellow when it comes time to give an account for what I did on earth.
At the end of this “talk” the manager (who I said was also a Christian, remember) just simply said to me, “Dustin, brother, I hope you get your heart right, because one day I’m gonna need ya. It won’t be today, and probably not tomorrow, but I will need your help someday, one way or another.” That is how our discussion ended.
I didn’t give it much thought until probably a few days later, but once I finally did consider what he said with a clearer mind, his statement didn’t really make any sense to me. People like him, people who have it all together spiritually, won’t need me. They are pillars, people to be looked up to. I’ve never seen this guy have a weak moment. I’ve never seen anything but a smile on his face.
I don’t know how long I’ll be a “new guy” for, but I see no real end in sight. I’m considering renaming this website to, “Lessons Dustin learns the hard way.” Being set in my ways, and then having a humbling, slightly life altering experience seems to be a reoccurring theme, and It usually comes at a bit of a cost.
It wasn’t too terribly long after my talk with this manager, maybe a few weeks. There came a time when I could have stepped up and helped him out. I Didn’t. I suppose, because I didn’t yet have my heart right, like he said. It wasn’t huge thing, I don’t think it affected him much, and I probably make a bigger deal about it in my head than it actually is. It will just always be one of those moments I’ll remember. I’m sure we all have moments like that don’t we? It’ll always be something I’d really like to be able to do over.
Personally, I need someone’s help everyday. There are people in my life who help me when I’m going through low periods, when I just need to get something off my chest, or when I just need good company to recharge myself spiritually. I’ve got some real pillars for people around me. My wife, is amazing! she straightens me out almost everyday. Some friends from church, and other people in my life are always there to help me. I guess it never occurred to me that those people aren’t just there for me, I need to be there for them too.
Being out in the world, socializing, and going to places where people go are not my most comfortable situations. I tend to be comfortable here, writing at my computer. this is where I open up. It’s a bit of a curse though, because I miss opportunities to help other people, in the same way that so many have helped me.
I’ve had a tendency to put some people on pedestals, like the guy at work. Sometimes I forget that we’re all human, even those I put on pedestals. All have fallen short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no not one. All of us Christians are just a bunch of folks, trying and failing to be like Jesus. Some of us appear to fail less. 🙂 Not me. I fail a lot, and I’ll tell ya all about it. But we’re bound together by that one simple truth in Romans 5:8. But God shows his love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
The lesson for me is clear and simple. Love these people. For me, that means stepping out from behind my computer once in a while and showing it where people can see. It’s one of the worst feelings, being able to do something for someone and not doing it. I’d love to be more social, more outgoing, and try to be less introverted. That was my new years resolution for 2015, it didn’t go so well.
I don’t want to miss anymore opportunities to be the one that picks someone up when they fall. If you’re like me, and feel like you have these great people in your life too, I want you to know that we all have a responsibility to be that person to them, as seldom as they seem to need it, that they are to us nearly everyday. Really, it comes down to one simple point; love them. No matter what people are dealing with, whether they are batting a thousand, or struggling to hold it together, make sure that above all they know you love them.
We all fail. Some like me almost make a hobby of it, others blow your minds when they fail, because you’ve never seen them do it before. Maybe someday I’ll fail less. Maybe I’ll be a pillar to someone else someday. For now, I’ve got myself pretty well surrounded by people who pick me up, love me and help me along. I feel like we’re a herd of sheep following Jesus, and I’m the little one at the back struggling to keep up, getting dragged along. Then there’s those spiritually strong ones up toward the front, smiling bold and tough. They trip too, believe it. When they do, I hope we’re all ready to pick them up and help them along. Because one day, they are gonna need us, it may not be today or tomorrow, but one day they’ll need our help one way or another.