Here’s a little tip: We all have experienced at one time or another during our life someone who simply can’t be pleased by anything we say or do. In fact, that person may be displeased with simply anything and everything that we are associated with – and no matter how hard we try, they remain unmoved by our efforts. In my experience, I have always taken these sort of things personally, struggling with trying to understand what I could have possibly done (unknowingly) to injure that curmudgeon in such a way that I experienced a mini-ice-age every time we would come into contact with each other. You try being polite. You make an effort at concern and interest. You even put distance between you hoping that time will simply erase the awkwardness. But nothing works.
I have begun to accept that God puts these people in our lives for a reason and it’s my job to put them to good use. So – I imagine quite vividly that God has assigned them to my ‘practice squad’. If my efforts at engineering a thaw aren’t working, then I must assume that God has put them in my life as a means to practice the many virtues that I lack or that are weak in my nature. When I encounter them I have to think “Carpe Diem!” and take advantage of that moment or opportunity to practice being kind – or patient – or understanding – or humble – or merciful – or forgiving – or generous – or loving – or peaceful – or gentle – or … you get the idea.
Remember: Practice squad. Practice those virtues on them. Practice makes PERFECT! Strive for perfection! Don’t let these opportunities pass you by! Your practice squad always seems to be around just enough to keep you guessing and I like to think that God is up there smiling down and waiting to see how well we respond. Again. And again. And yet again.
I see what you did there, God. 😉