"So, R," I said to the student whose cubicle is just outside my door, "Are you going to be putting up the tree this afternoon?"
Poor R looked up in frustration.
"No way. J and I spent an entire afternoon last year putting up the tree and setting out all the other decorations, and S came in the next day and rearranged everything. Apparently we didn't do it 'right'."
Why is it that we find it so difficult to accept the spirit in which help is given without criticizing the manner in which it is done? Nothing is more frustrating - and more likely to squelch future offers of help - than to do someone a favor, only to discover you've done it "all wrong". Perhaps worse than simply being told you've done it wrong is the later discovery that everything you have done has been redone to the "correct" specifications.
Certainly there are times when a task needs to be done to a particular standard; in those situations, swift correction is necessary. But does it really matter which decorations go where? As a friend told me recently, sometimes, you just need to let people bless you.
Heavenly Father, Enable us to look beyond the help given to the heart of the giver. Let us accept with grace and gratitude the efforts of those around us to ease our burdens and make our way easier. Help us to let go of our need to be in control, to relax and enjoy the satisfaction of a shared job.
Teach us to let people bless us, any way they can.
In Jesus' name, Amen