Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Red Carpet Treatment

Every once in a while one of these memes hits the nail on the head.

 I believe that the amount of frustration we can experience on a daily basis  arises because we tell ourselves that we should not have to _____________, you fill in the blank. For many of us, it is our vocation -- the duties of our job, our chores at home, or dealing with the people at those places.

 well, okay, not exactly this

 Even being stuck in traffic. This happened to me the other day -- the Broad Street Run had South Philadelphia tied up in knots for hours! All I wanted to do was drive to the other side of town, across Broad, to do some shopping, and I had only a limited amount of time. Three of my girls were with me, one had a commitment that afternoon. As we painfully crept along, blocked and jammed at every turn, at least a few of us were so irritated, we could feel our blood pressure rising. It was all I could do not to just start laying on the car horn, as useless as that would be, just to let off some steam. At one point, I yelled out, "Don't  you know, people, we are going SHOPPING!" Laughing helped a little.

Really, though, the thought behind all that frustration and anger, is this:

I should not have to wait in traffic -- I should be able to go directly from point A to point B without having to deal with anyone else -- The Red Carpet should now appear and pave the way for me to get where I want to go.

 I have always referred to this thinking as the Red Carpet Treatment. You know, that scenario that goes like this: Husband arrives home after work, house is immaculate, paper and slippers are awaiting, martini is chilled, dinner is ready, children are quiet and all in their places....etc, etc.
Funny, right? ( I am not pinpointing husbands here, just using an old illustration).

But how many times do we all expect our lives to be this way, and think we deserve it?

How often do we construct that picture of How Things Ought To Be, and then feel angry when they aren't?

In our family, we have had our share of serious issues to deal with. If, at any point, we sat down and said, we should not have to deal with this, really what we would be doing is looking for someone to blame. And there were times when we could have found people to which who we could point the finger of blame. Ultimately, though, when things get bad, we are usually blaming God. He let things get out of hand. He didn't roll out that red carpet and make our lives go according to plan.

Whoops, wait a sec.

Whose plan? You mean....God didn't plan that we would have all sunny days, picnics and ponies? What's that you say? He did?  Oh. Sin. Right. Of the Original kind.

 It's not as though we have NO sunny days, picnics and the occasional pony. But we are all subject to original sin and are affected by our own and that of others. The danger in forgetting this is falling into the place where our irritation, anger and feeling of entitlement become embedded.

I am not suggesting we do not fight against evil. NOT fighting against evil is what allows it to expand it's hold on us. God has given us tools for fighting evil. The Rosary. Confession. Mass. The Eucharist. Adoration. And He has given us minds and consciences to use in the fight against evil.

 But in our everyday lives, we should not be surprised nor troubled if the red carpet never gets rolled out.  If we can stop putting ourselves on the throne for a second,

 no offense, Regis

 and let God work in us, we might be able to accept what He gives us, and see things in a different light. We might not be so easily offended or annoyed. We might have compassion for those that are called to carry the really heavy crosses in this life, and to those who are truly suffering from the evils of this world.  The less we insulate ourselves, trying to prevent discomfort, the more we are open to love the people around us and see what God is asking us to do. To see everything (and everyone) as coming from His hand.

Here are a couple of Mother Teresa's many wonderful sayings:

“Humility is the mother of all virtues; purity, charity and obedience. It is in being humble that our love becomes real, devoted and ardent. If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are. If you are blamed you will not be discouraged. If they call you a saint you will not put yourself on a pedestal.” 


“Let us make one point, that we meet each other with a smile, when it is difficult to smile. Smile at each other, make time for each other in your family.”


  1. You mean life doesn't cater to me? Oh no. And here it was I thought I was king of the world. ;)

    Well, I think I'm learning humility. I think it goes down easier with age.

    I'm so humble now that I'm absolutely prideful about it. :-P

    Thanks for the Mother Theresa quotes. I also liked the one right under the title about what screws us up. Who wrote that one?

  2. Lol, I know, right?

    I don't know the source of that first meme, I saw it on Pinterest. But I have said that many times, so maybe someone quoted me! lol.