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  • Writer's pictureAdam

Non-returnable and Disqualified

We all learn life lessons along the way. Some are more difficult to swallow. Some are put us in sticky situations. Some cost us money while others cost us our comfortbility. And some cost us both. But, the importance of any life lesson may seem obvious-- learn from your mistake. Yet, maybe it is here in this uncomfortable moment when humility is the hardest pill to swallow. But one that makes us better.

This past week, I had to go buy stamps for the non-profit I work part time for. Because it is Christmas time, the post office was low on stamps. All they could offer me was an assortment of different stamps including nature, sports, movies, and animals. Some were more cheesy than others.

In my mind, stamps are a means to an end. A way to get your letter where it needs to go. I needed to buy 500 stamps so I bought what they had to offer. My boss was not excited about using some of the stamps for his end of the year letter sendout. It was because of some possible assumptions of others that could be manifested from these stamps that I did not think of. Looking back, it makes more sense. But now, what was I going to do?

Therefore, I went to a different post office in town to try and return or exchange the stamps for something more ap pro poe. To my dismay, the lady at the desk told me in a not so sympethic tone that "all sales are final on stamps and postage. Sorry." Boy was I fuming.

It wasn't the lady I was mad at so much, nor was it my boss for refusing the unique stamps I had boughten. I was angry with myself that I didn't make a better decision. Why did I think dog stamps with hearts on them would be ok for a professional letter? Or Buzz Lightyear? Again, I see stamps as a means to an end. But I didn't contemplate about subtle untertones and asethetic reasons as to why it may not be appropiate.

I had made a mistake and I felt like I couldn't fix it. And it cost my work $300. Ugh.

Now in the grand scheme of things, stamps and blowing $300 is not as bad as wrecking a company car or accidently burning the your place of work down. I know, extreme examples. But nonetheless, I felt belittled, incompetent, and disqualified. Not by my boss or anyone else. But by myself.

I said words alone in my car and thoughts in my head I'm not proud of. I even cussed at another driver who cut me off in traffic. Thankfully he had no idea and no one heard me. But In that moment I thought, "how could I ever get married when I have outbursts of anger like this?" Or "raise kids to be mature, upright, and self-controlled? Over stamps!" I began to disqualify myself.

It has been a few days since this incident and thankfully my boss is compassionate and understanding. He never got angry or upset. I've had some time to reflect by myself, with others, and with God. I feel forgiven from not only my mistake, but my reaction to my bad purchase. But, it is the heart posture of when I'm alone that hasten's my initiative to jump back in the race.

In this moment, I have to think of how God sees me. Not how I see myself, but the God of the universe who sees all my thoughts and actions. Ugly and beautiful. How does he see me?

In scripture, I see a God of unmeasurable mercy. If anyone is to be angry with my actions, it should be Him. He sees all, none is hidden. But yet he is the one who is most compassionate. To be honest, I can't fathom it. It is hard to believe some days. I don't always feel it. But maybe that is faith. Believing not only when you can't see but when you don't feel the truth. But rather knowing the truth and believing it regardless of human emotion.

God is not angry with me, nor has he disqualified me. Why? He sees me through His Son Jesus. Immanuel. Sent to be among us in human form because of his vast love for us. And yet in this truth, I think it is ok and even right that we wrestle with our unbelief at times. How are we to be intimate with the Father of lights if we are holding back our ugly side? Besides, He sees it anyway. And yet His love remains.

Therefore, may this Christmas be met with joyful adoration and a relaxing confusement. I know, that doesn't make sense. But I mean confusement in the sense that this mercy and love doesn't make sense. But it is true nonetheless. May it draw us to tears. Draw us to relief. Draw us to the manger.

For in this state, he showed us in action that our mistakes do not disqualify us from being in His presence. But rather, through Him we can experience His presence and adoption as sons and daughters.

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