Saturday, August 16, 2014

Are You Entitled to Your Space?

We have a crow problem where I work. They  perch on the cliffs of the quarry and "talk" to each other. They can get quite noisy. They fly back and forth and switch places, then talk some more. If you watch them, it doesn't seem to make much sense, and I often wonder, "What on earth are they squawking about?" And it does sound more like squawk than talk.

Across the street is a building where a certain crow (or maybe it's more than one and they take turns...like on the cliffs of the quarry) likes to perch on the roof peak. This particular crow is a bit more than just annoying. I heard all this squawking one day and watched what unfolded. There were a few small birds, maybe barn swallows which were attempting to land on the roof, and Nasty Nancy Crow (it must be a woman) squawked and actually snapped at them each time one came close, in an effort to keep them away. This went on for about a half hour! She never seemed to tire. She was protecting what she deemed her "space."

I recently attended a conference at which there were close to 10,000 people in attendance. That's a lot of people! For the most part, everyone was courteous and considerate. There were, of course, those few who felt that they were entitled...to a spot before you in line or a seat in a reserved, closed-off section simply because it was a better seat than the one they had.

The woman next to me put her water bottle in front of my feet. I moved it.  Another woman sat down next to my friend and practically pushed my friend off her chair she was so close. So my friend moved closer to me, but my neighbor was already on top of me. But the worst was when we stood up to worship and started bumping into each other. 

I was annoyed. After all, my space in front of me is the same width as my chair. Do I need to draw a line? And then I heard the Holy Spirit's whisper in my spirit. "Mary," He said, "When you're in heaven worshiping Me, singing 'Holy! Holy! Holy!' and there are millions of others gathered there with you, will you still complain about your space if someone bumps into you?"

Was I entitled to my "space" or was I acting like a crow? 

If someone "gets in my space" do I snap at them, like Nasty Nancy Crow? Maybe they are like the barn swallows, just wanting to share a good spot. Maybe their space is smaller than mine. I once did an exercise in a class I was taking in which the instructor told us to tell her when she was "in our space." My "space" starts at about 3 feet from me. Not everyone else's does. 

I think that's why drivers get so angry with other drivers...because they're invading their space. It's why people get offended when someone cuts in front of them in line at the store. We act like Nasty Nancy Crow, ready to snap at every barn swallow who comes within two feet of our space. After all, it's my space. I'm entitled to it. It's the principle! They ought to remember what they learned in Kindergarten...it really is all about that! Sound familiar? Oh, sorry, those are my recent words.

You know what I noticed about the birds? My focus was drawn to Nasty Nancy Crow, not the poor little barn swallows. It was all about her. All I heard was her squawking. It drew me out from my office it was so loud and obnoxious. That's what squawking does, and that's what we sound like when we insist on getting our way. Try it. The next time you hear someone complaining (it might even be you!) just see if it doesn't sound like squawking and look like snapping! And watch all the barn swallows around take cover.

Blessings Along the Path,
Mary

Song of the Day
Hey, You, Get Off of My Cloud (Rolling Stones) --- kind of funny because it's live with lots of people invading one another's spaces!


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