Chip on Your Shoulder

“How would you define chip on your shoulder?”

Looking away, Ron scratched his head, thinking about my question; he turned back to his laptop and began typing.

“I don’t know.” And so we both searched Google and found the definition contained in the picture.

Ron knocks chips off my shoulder with love. The largest one he removed came a few years back while sitting by the campfire at Gwynn’s Island on a cool summer night.

“Just because I haven’t experienced what you have, doesn’t mean I can’t sympathize with you.”

Ron’s response floored me. In a discussion about the two most life-changing events from our teenage years, I shared about my Dad’s death a few months before my seventeenth birthday. Ron’s pertained to sporting events during his youth.

“I wish my biggest problem in high school had to do with sports. I’m envious of your normal life.”

Thus Ron’s words illuminated a heavy chip on my shoulder that I didn’t know I had. And doing so, he lightened my load and helped me find fuller life. Living each day “habitually negative, combative, or have a hostile attitude” exhausted me. Letting go of the resentment I carried for God taking my Dad at such an early age truly lifted a burden from my shoulders. Sometimes, we get so used to carrying the heavyweight that letting go seems impossible.

“But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Faith in Christ led me to Ron, who loves me like Jesus loved the church. Unconditional love can move mountains and remove deeply ingrained chips from people’s shoulders.

And so, over our morning coffee, through the course of conversation, I thanked him for knocking chips off my shoulder and hope he will continue to do so for decades to come.

“As long as you do it with love, that’s what matters. You can’t knock chips off by yelling.”

Your right Honey, you can’t.

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