This morning I drove Alex and one of our neighbors to school so that they could be there at 6:30 for a field trip. We briefly parked and I walked them into the school. As I was driving off, my car made a "dinging" noise and the door open light came on. Since there was a line of traffic trying to get out of the school parking lot, I couldn't really pull over right away. I will admit that I was a little bit frustrated that they had not closed their door when they got out. I may have uttered a few comments under my breath.
Eventually I got to a spot where, without stopping the car, I could lean over and open and close the passenger door. It made the satisfying "thunk" of a door securely closed and I kept on driving.
Then I looked down and saw that the light was still on. For those of you who do not know, I have a little car that only has two doors. Obviously something was wrong with the warning lights on my car again, because the only other door is the one that I got in. Then, for the first time, I considered whether it may just be me that didn't close the door. And, of course, it was. I opened and closed the door and the light went off - all was well.
I immediately felt pretty bad for my self-righteous condemnation of the kids for not closing the door when they got out of the car (ok, ok, in all honesty it never even passed through my head that it may have been the neighbor's kid, I assumed it was Alex). Then I thought of the passage from Matthew:
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."
Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV)
I am sure that there are many other examples in my life of the need to remove the plank from my eye, but my quick (thankfully solely internal) criticism of my son for something that it turns out he didn't even do really struck home this morning. It emphasized to me how quick I have been to criticize a lot of different things and people without taking the time to look at my own issues.
I'm going to try to do better.