So I did some work in the garden the other day.
I know, I know. What kind of lazy person am I, right? Sorry. But they were driving me crazy.
The daisies, that is.
The shasta daisies were staging a hostile takeover of my flower bed. The one I so carefully planted six years ago with flowers I fostered from seed. The daisies had lost their respect for the other flowers in the bed. They choked out my forget-me-nots and one of my columbines. They'd made it impossible for my beloved Johnny Jump-Ups to find a foothold. My Johnny Jump-Ups, whose seeds came directly from Colonial Williamsburg, my favorite place on the planet. Those cute little flowers didn't even come up last season because of the stupid daisies!
And that's where I draw the line. Nobody hates on my adorable Johnny Jump-Ups.
So I went out there with a shovel and dug those suckers up. Probably 20 separate daisy plants, including a mothership-looking plant that had to have been propagating the rest. It must have been two feet across! And the entire flower bed is maybe seven feet across. It was ridiculous. At the end of an hour and a half, I had two giant piles of daisies to go into the compost bin. I did let a few of them stay in the bed.
I don't garden. My back is delicate, so I try not to do things that irritate it. Like physical labor of any kind. But these daisies were on my list. They were now evil in my mind. And I was on a mission to eradicate them.
But it was hot that day. And my son was trying to "help" me in the garden, which mostly involved him getting dirty and getting in my way. And there were a couple of times that I bent down, and when I got up, I thought I was going to stone cold pass out.
Heat + Head Rush = Bad News Bears
But you know what? I was on a mission. I was determined. I was focused. And I knew my husband would be glad I did some work in the garden, since that's work he wouldn't have to do.
Do you have a mission each day? Is it to just get through the day with all of your kids in one piece? Or maybe you have a project at work that has your focus right now. Or maybe your mission is to just be nice to that horribly annoying coworker who sits in the cubicle next to you and watches You Tube videos all day when you know she owes you work and she's sitting on it (on purpose, you think!) so you're going to miss your deadline and look like a fool in front of your boss who's going to ask you where that file is tomorrow and you won't want to be a jerk and throw your coworker under the bus and be all, "Well, she didn't get it to me!" like you're tattling on the playground or something.
But I digress.
We all have missions each day. How about today, you make your mission to love each person you encounter? And I don't mean it in that superficial way. I mean to really look at them and love them. Flaws and all. Ask that person how his or her day is going, but say it in a way that tells them you actually care—you're not just making small talk. And then really listen. Ask questions. And talk about them without turning the conversation back to you.
And then ask them how you can pray for them. For reals.
Very few people turn this down. And what's the worst they're going to say? No? That they can't think of anything right now? That's fine. You just say, "The offer is always open." And if they do tell you something to pray for, actually pray for it. Pray with them. Tell them exactly when you'll pray for them, like, "When I do my devotional at lunch, I'll pray for that."
But show love. Show interest. Pray for someone. Let that be your mission today. Or if you're not reading this until late in the day, make it your mission tomorrow.
And then report back to me. Tell me how it went. How did it feel to purposefully show genuine love to all the people you encountered for a whole day?
Let me know.