Square Pegs and Round Holes

Personality types are so fascinating! I ruminate often about this and find myself trying to interpret people and myself with very mixed success!

I think it's safe to say that opposites tend to attract, don't you think? Generally speaking, the protective are drawn to the vulnerable; introvert to extrovert; impulsive to rather more cautious, confident to shy, etc.  Gender has little to do with it - increasingly so in the prevailing culture.  Having said that, I think that when two similar personalities come together there is considerable potential for disharmony!

As a child, self confidence and I were strangers! Even now (looking squarely at my 66th birthday) we have not made great advances in our acquaintance. Consequently, those who demonstrated a fully developed reliance on their views and opinions held a fascination and some attraction for me.  How society needs such people for their drive and dynamism - free as they seem from doubt and debilitating caution. I suppose in many ways they are the movers and shakers who get things done.  I admire the way that they don't waste time with introspection, moving on quickly and confidently through life.

Have you heard of the proud Mum watching her son marching by in his Passing Out Parade?  How - filled with pride - she marvelled that everyone was out of step apart from her boy! I love that! Sadly though I have come to see that this is not a wholly admirable trait to possess or encourage!

As Christians I know  we must not judge and I would be sorry if these observations are coming across as critical at all.  I offer them to you simply as my deliberations on cause and effect. It strikes me that we could all benefit from the good old Victorian caution to pause and reflect, and being somewhat more given to self examination these days, I see in myself the need to consider the ripples spreading from impulsive words and actions and their impact on the lives of those around me.

Of course, it's all a matter of degrees. For some of us the thought and the action are synonymous which effectually rules out any consideration of cause and effect at all!  Then follows the sad replay of mortification over the consequent misunderstandings and confusion affecting everyone subsequently concerned!  Easily done. I hear myself butting in a lot and am very consciously trying to school myself to allow people to speak without geeing them along. It could be the effect of steroids you know - there feels to be no time to be lost for me, these days!  But how annoying is that to others.

God is showing me the beauty and preciousness of living in the heart of our world - family, church, workplace, neighbourhood - not alongside but really within -   so that we interact rather than impact, and that for the good and blessing of those around us.  We are all square pegs to a greater or lesser degree but the round (w)hole is large enough to encompass our personalities without shaving off any of it's inner rim, whilst chipping away at the sharp corners to make us more like godly people.

Isn't that wonderful?