Left Out…

4 Nov

I recently returned to work after a two week vacation. Although my mind and body needed that wonderful break, I was glad to return. Initially I felt awkward and detached from my work. As I continued to think about how I was feeling, not many days afterwards,  it dawned on me that I had to take intentional planned steps to seriously re-engage myself with the staff as well as with my work related responsibilities.  After this revelation, I no longer felt left out. I was even more elated to be back on the job!

Later that day after, I  interacted with a few other people. Again, and again, I felt left out. I failed to remember that I had just overcome this feeling earlier in the day by intentionally taking steps to become even more involved when I felt left out at work.

I completely failed this second, third, and then fourth test of character as the evening progressed. Instead of engaging myself with those surrounding me, I went with the feeling of being left out three times. I withdrew into my own shell and permitted negative thoughts to invade my peace, robbing me of the joy that I experienced earlier that day when responding differently to similar circumstances.

The next day, as I opened the Bible and turned to Mark 15,the subtitle preceding verse 21 grabbed my attention. The words were simple “The Crucifixion”. Immediately, from deep within, I began to understand my previous day. At the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was not just left out, one of His disciples actually sold Him out. In fear, the other disciples left Jesus altogether. For a moment, Jesus even felt forsaken by God.

I was reminded of the scripture found in Philippians (3:10 a) that says I want to know Jesus in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings. But do I really want to know Him in the fellowship of His suffering,  Yes, I believe that I do. In order to past the tests that will come to help this process come to pass, I must keep my eyes on Jesus and take them off of myself. When I think about the cross, and all that Jesus has done for me,  being left out is not so bad after all.  In fact, the test is not about being left out at all, it’s about how I, it’s about how WE (you’re included) respond!

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