Ok, so many times you have heard me say, “if you only knew what goes on in this crazy little mind of mine” and how my poor wife has had to take many blue chips for my craziness. Well, this is one of those moments but I couldn’t help it.
We were on the plane flying from NW Arkansas to Houston and the flight attendant was doing her normal safety features exercise so we would know what to do if something were to happen. After she took us thru the life boat, exits drill, she walked over to the seats behind me and talked the folks sitting in the exit rows saying, “you guys know you are in the exit rows right?” All of them replied, “YES!” in unison. Then she said “…and you have read the safety pamphlet right?” and again, the same response, “YES!”
Now, knowing they didn’t read the safety instructions, all I could think about was us going down in the plane and trying to get the exit doors open and me turning to the guy trying to figure out how to open the door only to realize, he didn’t have a clue how to do it. Why? Because he didn’t read the pamphlet. So in my crazy thinking all I could think about was how I would respond to him, “But you told the flight attendant you read it! WHY!? WHY!? Look what you have done!” I know what you are thinking, “what kind of crazed dude thinks about their plane crashing and still finds humor in that?” Yeah I know, imagine my poor wife being married to me. But hang on with me here; there is a point to this I promise….
Ok, so we all know that when the flight attendants ask that question, “you have read the safety literature…right?” They are not expecting to get an answer of, “no, I haven’t, please go into greater detail of how this process works”. No, in fact, the flight attendant expects the same answer every time. “Yes maam, we sure have…” and then she goes about her business.
As I sat there with my warped thinking, I could not help thinking about how that is in our life. When we go to church, the grocery store, bank, school, work, or wherever we may go in life, we are accustomed to asking another loaded question to everyone we see. You know, the “How are you doing?” In fact we are accustomed to receiving such questions and giving the ready made answer to a loaded question too aren’t we? “I am fine, and you?”
The fact is when most people ask that question, much like the flight attendant, they aren’t looking for a deep answer but rather a simple and quick response that releases them to go on with their business.
Too often in my life, I was good with the mask that said, "I am fine". The fac
t of the matter is though, that I wanted everyone to think I was “fine” but on the inside I was screaming. I didn’t want anyone to know I was hurting and so if I put the fake smile on and act like all is well, maybe they will leave me alone and not dig too deep.
One thing that has been so great about my going thru Celebrate Recovery is that I can now take my mask off. I am learning that when I wear a mask in my life, people in fact love the person that the mask represents not the “me” on the inside. I am a firm believer that if people are growing fond of the “masked Rodney” then I cannot feel love for the real me. If I cannot feel love, then I can’t possibly give love to others. CR has taught me to take the mask off and be ok with some people not liking the real me. The real reward for me is not how many people will like me but how rich the few do for the real me. It is ok not to be liked by all. Life as a real person is so much more gratifying.
Maybe your Father is speaking to you right now. Can you hear Him saying, "WHY?! WHY?! You don’t have to live that way. My way is so much better. Take the mask off and be ok with being the person I created you to be." God promises us that He has plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jer 29:11. Take your mask off and watch what God will do in your life.
For information about Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered program that helps us deal with life’s “hurts, habits and hang-ups.” Through Celebrate Recovery, we are accessing Christ’s power in our lives to overcome issues of anger, grief, alcoholism, guilt and shame, co-dependence, financial loss, divorce, dysfunctional families, sexual abuse, drug abuse, eating disorders, depression... the list is endless!