I would tell you that I am a person no longer shocked by human behavior but that would be a lie. I am REGULARLY shocked; I just hate to admit it. Case in point: A few years ago Pete and I headed to California for a conference hosted by the National Association for Christian Recovery (I serve as its Executive Director).
He seemed extremely quiet on the flight out, which is often difficult to notice because he is by nature extremely quiet. He’s also hard working, faithful, kind and never curses. I often wonder if his mother knew that the name “Peter” stood for “rock” when she named him, and if so, was she a witch? How did she know that he was going to grow into his name? He is truly a rock for many people in that quiet solid rock kind of way that is often overlooked but also over-utilized in times of crisis. He’s pretty much awesome. He is smarter than me, wins at most games no matter the level of competition and has a voracious appetite and memory for all sports statistics as well as bible references. He’s a walking encyclopedia with a great forehand and a mediocre serve in tennis, my favorite sport to suffer the humiliation of defeat.
Because he seemed withdrawn, not just quiet on the flight to Pasadena, I asked, not really expecting much of a response, “Is something wrong?” This is a question I have asked over the decades of our marriage and NEVER gotten much of response back, other than, “Why do you ask? I am fine.” [I am a rock.]
But on this day, he said, “I feel like I have wasted my life.” I was tempted to laugh. I honestly thought the dude was joking. Because if you have ever met a guy who does not waste time, money, resources or words - this is that guy. No problem is left dangling - he solves them. No need goes unaddressed, he tries to meet them.
This is a problem. If Pete McBean feels like he has wasted anything, including his life, I may as well end all now and deplane via the exit door while at cruising altitude over the Rockies. Instead, I press for answers and he has none. I wonder what he might need. Prozac? A good night’s sleep? A pep talk?
If we have an ounce of love for “other” in us, or if one single human being on this planet loves us - this is the million dollar question. What do the people we love NEED? What do we NEED? How can we help? Who can help us?
Let’s explore this topic by answering this question: who do you think has the biggest need that you love in this moment? “Other” or you? Maybe write that name down and let’s see if any of the things we talk about in the next few days informs your next right steps.