May 232013 4 Responses

When a Baby Cries in a Restaurant, Rejoice

I love hearing a baby crying in a restaurant.

I love it because one thought comes to mind—it’s not my responsibility.

At home, a cry demands my attention. I have to make decisions. I have to decipher the need and find an appropriate response. When my kid cries, I have to deal with it. When your kid cries, you have to deal with it.

A kid crying in a restaurant reminds me that not every crisis is my responsibility. Not every situation requires my judgment. In many situations, I get to stay out of the details and simply love the people.

When something isn’t our job we should rejoice. We should be grateful the responsibility doesn’t fall on us. We should enjoy our ability to stay neutral.

However, at the point in which we should rejoice, many of us don’t. Even though it isn’t our job, we make it our job. We worry. We choose sides. We feel the pressure to determine what happened and who is at fault.

We overstep our bounds and try to play a role which is not ours to play.

One of the most coveted positions in life should be the position of neutrality. It is a great place to be.

As a pastor, I get to be neutral in many situations:

  • When church members disagree, I don’t have to pick sides. I simply have to pastor each person to the best of my ability.
  • When a divorce happens, a judge can determine how things should be divided, I don’t have to determine fault.
  • When good people disagree, I don’t have to pick sides. I don’t have to dig for the details and figure out who was wrong.

Sometimes I have to play the role of judge and jury, but many times I don’t. Having to choose a side is a difficult role to play. Knowing the difficulty should make me thankful for the times I don’t have to play that role. It should keep me out of many situations because I know the stress they bring.

Life is difficult, but it is often not as difficult as we make it.

Consider how many situations you are currently involved in which don’t actually require your involvement.

  • Office drama
  • A squabble between friends
  • PTA politicking
  • The latest gossip at church

Far more often than we realize, our only job is to love. Don’t judge. Don’t dig for details. Don’t pick sides. Don’t try to figure it all out. Simply love.

The next time you hear a baby crying in a restaurant, don’t get irritated. Take a deep breath and say “thank you.” Be grateful that at least one problem is not your responsibility. Then consider how many other situations in your life don’t require anything but your love.

4 Responses to When a Baby Cries in a Restaurant, Rejoice
  1. Melissa Reply

    As is often the case, this was just what I needed to hear today! Thanks for speaking it!

  2. […] 2. An inability to stay out of conflict even when it isn’t their business. Healthy people hav... kevinathompson.com/drama-addicts
  3. Anonymous Reply

    It’s common sense, but I needed to read this to realize it. How true, how useful! Your texts are lovely because they are simple and yet true and deep.Common sense is God’s sense, and precious. Good work!

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