My husband and I recently watched the Mr Rogers movie. The one with Tom Hanks. It was not at all what I thought it would be. For some reason I assumed that it was going to be like a documentary of his life. It was not. It was much more than that. And I loved it.
Watching the movie reminded me that when I was a kid I was not a Mr. Rogers fan. I watched his show a few times and then moved on. Now, if you know me at all, you know that I am a fast mover and a ‘let’s get it DONE’ kind of girl. Mr Rogers is s…..l……o…..w. Like really slow.
Now, slow is not a bad thing.
In fact, while watching the movie, I realized how intentional he was. He would stoop down to the level of the kids. He would look them in the eye and talk TO them…not at them or to their parents. He took pictures of them…showing them how special they were….not just telling them.
Fred Rogers was way ahead of his time. He talked about issues that most people don’t talk about even now. Anger. Divorce. Hurt. Disappointment. He demonstrated how to love others even if they were a different color, race or ethnic group.
I really had no idea. And I was fascinated.
In the movie, someone asked his wife, Joanne, what it was like to be married to a saint. Someone who was perfect. Someone who never lost his temper and was calm…all the time.
Joanne said that Fred was NOT a saint. He had his faults, failures and difficulties just like everyone else. What made Fred different was that he CHOSE, every day, to prepare for his day. He did not leave anything to chance. What did he do?
- He exercised to release the tension. Almost every day he swam laps. Even when he was old…er.
- He started every morning with his quiet time. He read his Bible every day. He knew that without the teaching of Jesus he didn’t stand a chance.
- He prayed for his ‘friends’ every night. On his knees. And by name.
Fred was able to handle all of the burdens placed on him every day with everyone he met. The kids (and adults) he met had problems. He researched and read about the inequalities of the world. He met those people right where they were, with no pretense or expectations. And he cared for them…all.
- He knew that if he did not put a daily process in place then he would not be able to relate to those kids and adults in the manner he knew was necessary.
- He knew what he needed to ‘be the calm in the middle of the storm.’
- He knew that he might be the only voice of reason in someone's life.
- He knew that if he did not take care of himself 1st and figure out how to keep the anger and frustration of life’s injustices at bay, he would crack under all of that emotional pressure and become someone who was not the Fred Rogers he wanted to be.
And then I got to thinking about you and me..
What do I do to release my tensions? How do I begin my day? Do I jump in without giving it any thought and just face each moment as it comes. Or do I prepare for the day? Do I know how to relate to others without anger and frustration? Do I know how to love in the midst of a crisis?
I have to admit that I came up short in all the columns.
What about you? Do you have a routine in place for starting your day?
How do you release your tensions? How do you approach your day? Do you look at your calendar, see what appointments you have, and then jump in? Or, do you look at your calendar, see what appointments you have, and plan out your course of action?
I don’t know about you, but I need to make some changes. My morning quiet time needs to be more intentional. My prayer life needs to increase.
Starting your day…
I would like to encourage you to make some changes too.
Figure out what those hot buttons are and turn them into cold buttons. Buttons that do NOT make you react in a negative way. In fact, figure out a way to eliminate the buttons altogether.
Years ago I met a woman, a very busy woman whose calendar was filled to the brim everyday, who told me that every morning she looks at all of her appointments. She envisions each person and each meeting. She envisions the reason for the meeting and what it is for. And then she prays for each person. She prays for a favorable outcome of the meeting. But, MOST important, she prays for God to measure her words and her reactions to the person and the meeting. So that she is the woman He intended her to be…not someone reacting to the noise.
I just LOVE that! Don’t you? So…what are you going to do? Do you see any changes? And, if you do, how are you going to put that change into place?
A few more articles that you might like to read:
What Does It Mean To Be Still?
10 Things You Were Tricked Into Believing
What Matters To You?
‘Having' A Day vs ‘Living' A Day