Thursday, September 11, 2008

Influential People

Seven years ago today, I was only attending Northland on holidays, had written everyone off – including my brother, Mark – and was in private practice. My socialization involved a close female friend (who just found out she was going to be an unwed mother), a best friend/boyfriend/unhealthy relationship/the love of my life, and about 20 clients seeing me for psychological counseling.

When the first plane hit the towers, I called my friend at work who was preoccupied with just taking a 3rd positive third pregnancy test. Here’s how our conversation went:

Her: Hello… (had caller ID)
Me: Someone just flew a plane into one of the towers in New York!
Her: What do you want me to do about it?
Me: I think it was intentional!
Her: Again, Shelly, what do you want me to do about it?

Her detached attitude convinced me I was over-reacting, making a big deal out of nothing, so I calmed down and went back to my day… until, the 2nd tower was hit. I called her again.

Her: (disgusted) Yes, Shelly?!
Me: We’re being attacked! They hit the second tower!
Her: Shelly, I have bigger problems to worry about. I can’t do anything about the planes!

I didn’t realize my feelings were justified until that evening when radio and TV was consumed with the news.

Just another reason for fellowship with fellow believers instead of isolating with one or two friends… we need various influences, especially spiritually mature Christians, to share our journey with.

Unrelated example… (work with me)… I just watched a video clip of Lee Anthony interacting with protestors. *see
I gotta say, his patience and understanding inspires me! I could get into details, such as the reporter obviously instigating him on for a story (“you have no right to destroy someone else’s property”! – HELLO?! His entire life is being destroyed with people invading his life. And “What are you going to do if he doesn’t stop talking?” – I’m sorry… Kathy Belich was the one who was ‘out of control’), but my point is our words and actions significantly influence others’ words, actions, and beliefs.

Lee remained composed, respectful, and polite. I admire him for that. I think of other ‘real’ people in my life who consistently maintain a similar demeanor, which in turn, inspire me to try to do the same. It’s much harder to find inspirers in isolation. I think I am catching on to the command to be in the world, but not of the world.

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