Okay, so I was at the airport a few days ago when something happened to me that took me back. While I was standing in the airport security line a guy walks up and cuts right in front of me. It wasn’t the kind of cut in line that can sometimes happen in undefined lines of “who-goes-first” airport confusion. I was clearly in line and this guy was clearly in a hurry so he clearly cut me off.
I could tell he knew what he was doing because he positioned his back in front of my face and kept it there like a shield that kept from me clearly seeing his face, looking into his eyes and giving him the Stier stare.
Thankfully over the years God has been teaching me that I don’t have to always open my mouth and make my opinion known. Just when the phrase “Hey buddy, there’s a line here” was on the tip of my tongue, poised like a rock in a catapolt ready to attack, some other words popped in my mind instead:
“Respond don’t react.”
Debbie Bresina, our VP of Ministry Advancement here at Dare 2 Share, taught me those words a few years ago in a potentially volatile situation. I have been trying to apply these words ever since.
So instead of giving him a piece of my mind I kept my mouth shut (not an easy thing for a guy like me). I’m glad I did. Turns out this guy was a very famous Christian author that I recognized when he turned to put his baggage on the conveyor belt that takes your bags through the screener’s X Ray machine.
When we got through the line and he and I were putting back on our shoes side by side I asked the question, “Hey are you ________ __________?” He turned to me and very quietly said “yes”. I just said, “I thought so. My name is Greg Stier. I’m the President of Dare 2 Share Ministries. Sure nice to meet you.”
He knew that he had been caught. He mumbled something, grabbed his bags to make his getaway when somebody else recognized him. They chatted for a moment and then the little etiquette perp turned and bolted the scene of the crime, leaving a trail of bad manners behind him.
Turns out the other guy who recognized the really famous guy was quasi famous himself. As a matter of fact he was the same guy that I had just talked to a day before in hopes of leveraging Dare 2 Share with some of his quite large connections.
So when the really famous author bolted, the quasi-famous guy was left there with an infamous guy like myself it all turned out, well, famously. We ended up talking for about fifteen minutes or so and it looks like some good things could happen with Dare 2 Share as a result.
If I had blown up at the famous rude guy then, not only would I have blown my testimony with him (maybe he’d have made me a villain in one of his books) but I’d have lost another opportunity to get Dare 2 Share on the map with the quasi famous guy. But even more important than that, I would have brought dishonor to my God.
What are the lessons from all this? Be kind to everyone (you don’t know who is watching). Don’t cut in line. When somebody’s mean to you be nice to them. Pretty much all of the stuff you learn as a 1st Grader.
As for my rude, famous Christian friend I’m chalking all of this up to a bad day. I choose not to have his image permanently tainted by one bad incident. And if you happen to be ________ ___________ and are reading this blog, please don’t get mad. Respond don’t react. Somebody may be watching you.
Actually Somebody is always watching…and it sure ain’t me.