Monday, July 27, 2009

Reacting to Hardship

I have a story to share that I heard this week. I had just finished my workout at Curves (a small, franchise exercise gym for women for my out-of-U.S. readers). This particular Curves is in a small shopping center with about 15 other stores. We've been having lovely weather, not yet the Southern sweltering summer heat and no rain. The shopping center management decided to re-surface the parking lot, so over a week, a section of the lot was blocked off each day for the trucks to do their work.

One of the gym instructors shared that just the day before, a woman (a regular gym patron) came into the gym ready to do her workout. "I had to walk all the way from the bank!" she declared with extreme exasperation. Mind you, the bank is maybe the length of a tennis court away, maybe a court and a half. The instructor said simply, "Perhaps you can consider the walk your warm-up." At which the woman glared at the instructor and moved off, her irritation all over her body and proceeded to do a 30-minute cardio workout.

As the instructor said, "I was amazed. I mean, she was coming in to exercise after all."

So, question for the day. We're all trying to live as good Christians. What do you do in a situation like this, where the emotion is coming in waves and someone makes a comment that doesn't seem to make sense? There's a gut reaction in me that wants to state firmly, "Can you hear yourself and how illogical that comment is?" Do we ignore it (obviously she's having a bad day), wade in (I need to find out what's bothering her), or commiserate (yes, what a pain this re-surface work is)?

What would you do? Is there a right way to react? A Christian way?

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