I was on my way out of the school grounds after dropping my daughter of this morning and someone ignored me when I smiled at them.
How should I respond?
Should I start thinking about what I might have done to upset them?
Should I decide to ignore them if they smile at me?
Should I tell other people who the person was who ignored me to get people on my side against them?
I have experienced all three of these approaches from other people in similar circumstances and in my experience they all lead to a whole load of stress and aggravation.
This is what happened:
I reminded myself that life isn’t all about ME and so I as I walked on past this person, who is one of the most friendly people I know, I wondered what had caused them to ignore me because we say hello most days. Thinking about it, it seemed like they were deep in thought and so I decided to pray for them as I walked along (don’t worry I didn’t close my eyes to pray and so I arrived at church without any bumps). As I prayed, I remembered a conversation that I had with them a few months ago about a difficult situation they were facing and I prayed about that and will try to make time to ask how they are tomorrow.
Follow the advice in the diagram and change our attitude from life being about ME to it being about WE (all of us.)
Pausing for prayer is a great way forward and it definitely doesn’t lead to stress and aggravation.