From Bingo to Betterment

My current atmosphere is a small, eccentric coffee shop in downtown Chicago. I guess this is a nice time to drop its name in order to further their fantastic reputation. Thank you, Cafe Ballou. The live jazz band that you have in the little corner of your coffee shop provides such an ease for my Sunday afternoon. Being in this coffee shop makes me feel more alive, like I am in another era. The jazz sounds shift me to this Midnight in Paris feeling. The only time I am actually reminded that I am in the depths of Chicago is when the door is opened to a new face with the sounds of traffic following and a light breeze of winter fills the small room.

It is in this small room that I have been collecting and separating my thoughts into these categories of what is hindering me from what is truly important. The important thing being loving God and loving people for who they are. I started questioning myself more on this on Friday night as a group of friends and I met at an American Legion to play Bingo. This is what all 20-somethings do for their Friday night, right? Upon arrival, I noticed someone new had joined the crowd and she was sitting with the other guy who had recently started hanging out with everyone. I cringed.

See, I am discovering that I am really bad at accepting girls. Girls that I don’t know and haven’t known.  I could easily fix this by getting to know them, but I struggle with it. I have this mindset that I have my set of great girlfriends, I don’t necessarily need to invite other girls into my group, so why get to know new girls? It is awful justification that I need to fix. I also know that I am not the only girl who suffers from such terrible justification. I have come to the conclusion that girls view other girls as a threat. No matter who they are or where they come from. They could be the next Mother Theresa, but if I don’t give them the time of day to get to know them, I ultimately hinder a friendship that could be beautiful. What it essentially boils down to is… Pride. Nasty, nasty pride.

While I haven’t made any dramatic 2012 resolutions, I have taken note of the things at which I desire to get better at. I need to allow the acceptance of other girls to be OK, and for me to see it as something that can be made beautiful by God and for God. There is such a beauty in how God knits community and friendships. For me to set up these roadblocks for friendship, I am only giving God a stop sign to some part of my life. But we all know God breaks all of the rules, and will roll right through the stop sign I hold up.

And this is God just rollin’ right through my stop sign.

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