The Illusion Of Clean

I picked up one of the coffee cups my kids had supposedly washed the other day, and it looked clean on the outside.  Upon further inspection I found a slight rim of discoloration in the bottom of the cup.  After pointing it out to them I went on about my day, but the thought stayed with me.  You see, it was the illusion of clean that fooled me into picking it up to begin with.  Had I not inspected it further, it is possible that I would have had to suffer through a bout of food poisoning (extreme worst case maybe).  Jesus warned the Pharisees about the illusion of clean in Matthew 23:25-28.  It reads;

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Matt 23:25-28 (KJV)

Scrolling through the social networking on the internet, we are constantly bombarded with people and things that have that illusion of clean.  People that appear innocent as angels, and righteous as Jesus himself according to their posts and their profiles, but if you know them personally, you can see the real person behind the mask.  So if you are one of these people, keep this in mind; you may be able to fool all these people into thinking you are that mask of good cleanliness, but YOU have to look at yourself in the mirror.  You may be able to fool everybody around you, for a little while, but the truth has a way of coming out.  And in the end, the only thing that will really matter is between you and the one you can’t hide anything from.  Think that over for a bit and check the inside of your own cup.  Does it need another wash?

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Zeroing In

I pulled into the parking lot at work, counting myself lucky as I did because I spotted an empty parking spot close to the building.  I usually back into my parking spots so that, when time comes to leave, I don’t have to take time turning around.  Anyway, I backed in like normal, using my mirrors to gage how far I was from the vehicle in the spot directly across from it.  I also kept as close to perpendicular as I could with the car parked on my left.  I know from experience driving my car how close I can get using my mirrors.  It was a breeze.  I pulled in beautifully and got out to double check my parking job, all the while patting myself on the back for a job well done.  That is until I realized I had made a common mistake.  I assumed the person who had parked behind me knew how to park.  I’m not sure what was going through this persons mind when they stopped their vehicle, but they were about five feet away from the line.  Now, because I was judging where to stop by the car parked there, I was three feet across the line into their parking spot.  I probably should have noticed I was off by the car parked next to me, but it was a compact and even though it looked about right, it took up less space.  Let me note here that I work an odd shift, and I knew that this person was more than likely going to leave before I got off work.  That would leave me parked three feet into an empty parking spot, just waiting for someone to try to park there, and end up bumping me because they were trying to squeeze in.  Not wanting that to happen, I got back in and pulled up into my own spot.  The more I thought about it the more I realized that what I did in that situation is what a lot of us do in everyday life.  We usually judge our own accomplishments by what other people have done, when really there is no comparison.  What we have done is according to our own gifts and abilities.  We should never judge our own worth by what other people have done.  It will skew your perceptions and you will overshoot, or stop short of your own goals.  Judge you by you.  You may not hit the mark every time, but I’ll guarantee you will be a whole lot more accurate that way.

Bowling Shoes

Have you ever gone bowling? It is a pretty fun game. A little on the expensive side in my opinion, but fun nonetheless. In bowling you go to a bowling alley and rent a lane and some shoes, because the lanes are polished hardwood and in order to keep those lanes in top condition shoes with clean soles are required. Those of us who only bowl once in a blue moon end up renting a pair of shoes instead of investing in our own. The problem with the rented pair (for me) is that they rarely ever fit correctly. Most of the time it is not an issue, but I do recall once when I happened to get an ill-fitting pair. I try not to cause a lot of static in situations like that. I realize that when you deal with the public, people can be very demanding and overly ‘picky’ when it comes to how they want things, so I try to lessen that as much as possible. So in doing so, I bowled a couple of games in the uncomfortable shoes. It was terrible. It totally threw off my game, not to mention the blisters on my feet from the odd places they were rubbing (and yes, I am blaming the shoes, before you say anything). My point in this story is that they were not MY shoes. I didn’t buy them. I didn’t break them in. I hadn’t walked anywhere in them up until the point I tried to bowl in them. There was nothing wrong with them aside from that fact. So think of this when you hear someone say; ‘don’t judge them until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.’ Instead just don’t judge them at all. You will never be able to understand why someone makes the decisions they make unless you have lived their entire life, and then you wouldn’t be you anymore. Sometimes it is your shoes that make you an individual, and something special.