Be the Grease
Written By: Mary Ellen Row | Posted: Wednesday, August 31st, 2016
If there were one piece of information about people you should know before braving the world it would be simply this:
Everyone is fighting their own battles.
If you can remember this little fact, you have the most relevant information you'll need regarding the human race in order to deal well with them. Everyone has their personal struggles, fights, temptations, and worries. We get so bogged down by our load of problems that we often forget that those around us are in the same boat. We distance ourselves by assuming that no one could understand where we're at or where we've been. I've heard it before many times... things like, "You don't know what pain is." "You've never been depressed." "You don't know anything about love!" "You don't know how hard I work." .... and on, and on. And we grow so bitter and alone! Like wounded animals. Lashing out at anything that threatens us with more harm. Pushing, prodding at everyone because we are desperate to find peace, yet seeking it in all the wrong ways.
That is what sets children apart and makes them so wonderful. A child hasn't seen the world, hasn't seen betrayal, hurt, heartache. Their emotions are pure and true: unlearned anger, pure and vibrant joy, wholesome pleasure. But every child grows up. Traveling on different journeys, different roads, different circumstances... and yet we live the same life.
Why are we called the human race? The human wheel is much more fitting: Some of us make up the spokes, some the rim, the bolts, pegs, screws, the hub... and so on. The trip is tiresome, and after awhile we are all weary. We don't look at others around us and remember that they are tired and sore too. Selfishly, we complain and demand comfort. It is true that the squeakiest wheel gets the grease … and there are a lot of squeaky wheels out there.
In all my interactions during a day, I sometimes observe how easily my patience comes undone. Or how quickly my anger is kindled. How unloving and selfish I can be. Quite unpleasant and nasty at times. I become a very squeaky part of the wheel, making the trip all the more disagreeable for everyone else, forgetting that I am not the only one bearing the burdens of life.
This is why we should strive to be the grease. The giver. The comfort and relief. Pleasant words throughout the day. A true smile that carries no ill. The peace in times of hardship... bring to the table the Fruits of Galatians. (Galatians 5:22-23)
So if I, in my youth, were to ask a wizened frame for the one secret to a happy life, I would hope their croaky, old voice would tell me, "Be the grease." It is in loving our neighbor and those that tread through life along side us, that we find contentment and joy. We can learn to act instead of react to the people and problems we encounter, and by doing this we will be loving our neighbor and a moment of relief to a very desperate human race.
Augustine said this, "What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like."
Mary Ellen Row lives near Osseo, WI. Her website is myworldsonfire.blogspot.com.