What’s really important


On Easter weekend this past March, Sid and I were still in Florida. Our home there is on the east coast and our kids and grandson live on the west coast (of Florida). Although we don’t celebrate Easter, we made a plan to drive there to St. Petersburg to enjoy the fun traditions associated with the holiday with our grandson– a basket of candy, bunny stuffies, treasure-filled eggs, paper grass, the works. Even better we were to babysit our grandson while their parents had a well deserved night out.


Such great plans in the works. After spending lots of time shopping at CVS to create a fun filled basket of goodies, Sid and I went to our RV only to find it had been towed!!! Without getting into the merits (exceeding the 30 minute time limit!!!) needless to say we were shocked, and so started a journey of unresolved financial loss that has continued even to this day.


After paying the $450 tow fee, when Sid started to drive the RV it went in reverse! After hours of waiting, the tow company attendant finally came over to reattach the steering linkage which had been negligently not reconnected after the tow (the cause for the RV to go backward instead of forward when in Drive). Although Sid warned the attendant that the RV was very close to a building behind the RV and would need to be pulled forward before lifting the front end to do the linkage connection, the tow company employee didn’t listen. Instead he lifted the front end of the vehicle which angle caused it to hit the wall of the building, thus detaching and damaging the ladder on the back of our RV to the tune of a $1300 repair bill.


Needless to say, it was a terrible evening, long, and no babysitting was possible at this point. The attendant assured us his company is a national firm and would make sure our damages were completely reimbursed. Despite the many phone calls, texts, even promises by the person in charge to pay for the damage, he has gone silent and no longer returns our calls or texts.


For me, this treatment has been emotionally challenging for so many reasons. My sense of justice has been violated as has trust been broken. I have gone from reliance on representations to frustration at being ignored, to feeling betrayed by false representations, to anger, to pragmatism of what to do to collect the amount due. Last week I reached a stage of acceptance, not forgiveness, but to a view that I feel is more important than the lost money.


My last communication (via text) to this person does not state what I plan to do or how I feel. Rather, I asked him whether he really thinks he is doing the right thing in ignoring us. I recounted for him the trust his employee had spoken of at the time, his describing his employer as a man of integrity. I asked him about his own conscience. Did he think he was doing the right thing?  Even if the company decided not to pay, did he feel he was treating us kindly by ignoring messages? I asked him if this is really who he is. “So often money takes us away from the more important lessons in life that we’re here to learn.”


Life is not always just. When it isn’t, the tranquility prayer to accept that which we cannot change is helpful. It’s also important to take note of our emotions when others are unkind to us as a reminder of how a person’s actions affect others. I have been surprised that my initial feelings of anger and frustration have been replaced by these reminders of the impact of our actions on each other. The spectrum of my reactions to his disregard of us reminded me of the importance of treating others with honesty, integrity, kindness, and respect.


I was also made deeply aware that what we do, how we act, how we treat others, becomes part of who we are in the eyes of our Creator. Every action or inaction becomes part of our identity, a being who will be accountable to our Abba one day. What a miraculous truth that when we walk intimately with Yeshua, as we feel His Presence guiding us daily, we are reminded here and now that we are accountable every moment. What a blessing that His guidance leads us to do the right thing, to live lives of integrity, ones filled with unending opportunities to treat others with respect, love, and kindness. His Omnipresence guides us to the right answers if we listen and follow His teachings. The challenge is to do so.


Daily we are given choices to act with integrity, with clear consciences. Each of our life experiences provides a myriad of opportunities to do what Jesus would do. When He is in your heart, making the right decision is clear. When we choose not to follow His promptings, our conscience, that little inner voice, lets us know to hopefully encourage us to choose differently.


As this Shabbat draws near, I encourage you to seek His Presence, to feel His words of love in your heart in each of your days. For when you do, not only will you know what is the right thing to do, but your actions will also be ones of integrity and kindness. They will be filled with His Love of you that you will bring to those around you. You will be growing in following His model.


We have no control over the choices made by others. We do have choice over our own actions, and inactions. Following His teachings in our spiritual journey will always lead us to lives of love of others, and through that we will experience new insights and shalom regardless of the actions or inactions of another. We will learn to know what’s really important – how to love others as Yeshua loves us.


Shabbat shalom.



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