Inspiration & Encouragement

Oh Snap! Think Again…

Oh no, here she comes. Brace yourself…

Okay people, stick your hands in the air and wave them like you just don’t care if you’ve ever felt this way before. You’ve had experiences in the past with someone, or you’ve heard something about this person, and you’re body automatically reacts on laying eyes on this creature. In my case, this person was a college professor that I honestly hadn’t spent a ton of time with, but that I and my brother had each had a small run-in with in which she had definitely come across in a very condescending manner. From that point on, I had decided that she was a Meanie-Bo-Beanie (Feel free to steal my 4 year-old inspired slurs). She intimidated me, and I didn’t like her!

I honestly had several different people tell me that this woman was actually extremely nice, but I just felt as though I knew her true self, and they were all wrong. As she approached me while I was working one day, I prepared for the inevitable negative connotations beneath her big, plastered-on smile to seep through onto my life as toxic as the chemicals in a beautifully packaged can of Coca-Cola. To my surprise, she was cordial, and seemed genuinely kind as I assisted her. Honestly, I’m the one that felt like an awful person because I had made assumptions about her entire demeanor based on maybe two bad experiences. Maybe those were moments of weakness in which she was having a particularly bad day and she didn’t intend to come across in the way that I had interpreted it. Whatever the case, this experience made me realize once again how quick we are as humans to make snap judgments.

There are examples of this everywhere in media and literature: Britney Spears is pegged as that crazy chick because she shaved her head that one time. Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy could’ve begun their beautiful relationship much sooner had they not been caught up in their own assumptions of one another. And one of the most classic examples I can think of comes straight out of The Holy Bible. In John 20: 24-29, we see the encounter of Thomas with the other disciples of Christ when they tell him that they have seen Jesus after he has risen from the grave. Thomas claims in that moment that he won’t believe until he sees and touches the scars in Jesus’s hands and side.

From this one sentence that Thomas utters, humanity immediately tacked the word “Doubting” onto his name as if it encompassed the very essence of who he was.

Over a week later from this occurrence, Jesus comes and finally reveals himself to Thomas and specifically directs him to see and touch his scars. Jesus shows understanding and grace by confronting Thomas in his weakness and giving him a chance to realize that he was mistaken. Jesus does tell him to stop doubting and believe, but he never once refers to him as “Doubting Thomas.” We, in our constant need to lock people into a category have been the ones judging Thomas and calling him this nickname for centuries, when in reality, it is believed that this very disciple of Christ later went on to reach countless people with the Gospel because of his faith.

Snap judgments not only cause us to underrate the potential that others possess, but they also can be extremely detrimental to our own success. I know I have pigeonholed the outcome of certain situations as failures before even trying, simply based on my past experiences. Instead of taking a bad audition or rejection letter and learning from it to the point of being more prepared next time, I have automatically assumed that the same outcome will occur every single time.

That is fear. Fear is unacceptable.

Is fear understandable? Yes, of course! But, is it okay to just invite it in for an extended stay when it knocks? Absolutely not! As people trying to pursue our creative passions, we must accept the fact that sometimes we won’t be right for the role, the publisher will tell us no, or the client will choose someone else. That should not be an excuse for us to give up, rather, like Jesus, we should be giving grace. And, like Thomas, we should learn from the experience and conquer our doubts with more faith the next time they rise up to face us. We must offer this same grace to others also because to be honest, none of us our perfect, and we’re all just learning one day at a time.

 

I lay my snap judgments down;

With grace, the benefit of the doubt is found.

And so potential blooms:

Picking Snapdragons from the ground.

                                                                         ~Mackenzie Morgan

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