I learned a valuable lesson on our recent holiday. No, it wasn’t that I should never trust Google Maps to tell me precisely how long it takes to get from point A to point B. I fall for that every time, and will probably continue to do so. And no, it wasn’t that I should give up fighting with my husband and the GPS when I think I know the right way to go. Where’s the fun in that?
No, the lesson I learned was a far greater one; a fault to which we all succumb, periodically, one we must continually guard against – judging.
We traveled to St. John, New Brunswick to attend the wedding of a young man I have refered to for decades as my ‘3rd’ son. We’ve known him since he and our oldest son were three years of age. Our son has been married for 13 years and has three children. My ‘3rd’ son has taken longer to find himself and longer still to find the one to share the rest of his life with. In his search, he has also ‘found God.’ Though we of strong Christian faith know God is never lost, for those who ‘find him,’ we can only rejoice.
I’ve kept up with my ‘3rd’ son’s progress in his faith on Facebook. Despite the teasing given him by many of his contemporaries, Devon has boldly displayed his joy and his faith on social media.
Frequently present in many of the postings, was the young minister who had helped Devon find his way. I didn’t like that guy. There was something about him I did not feel was sincere, and I worried for Devon that his faith would be built solely on this one person who might, at some point betray his trust. I told my sons who were astounded that I would be so judgmental of someone I had never met. I couldn’t help it. That was how I felt.
Well, don’t you just love God’s sense of humor? Can you guess who I found myself sitting beside at the reception? This young minister who had performed the wedding ceremony (he had done a beautiful job, I had to grudgingly admit). I was in the company of this man, his lovely wife and their two little girls. At first I was wishing to be any place but where I found myself. He immediately turned to me, introduced himself, his wife and his daughters and before the bride and groom cut the cake, I was smitten. This young minister had a love of life and an exuberance of faith that was indeed sincere. And the very act of meeting him taught me such a valuable lesson.
One of the problems with Facebook is how superficial much of it seems and is and it can skew our perceptions without our even being aware. I was quick to let my sons know how wrong my presumptions were and how wrong it is make such baseless judgements. Though I may make many mistakes over and over again – like arguing with the GPS and planning an itinerary based on Google Maps determination of distance and time, I pray that God will continually bring my thoughts back to Devon’s wedding and the important lesson I learned there.