We have this conversation often in our house:
One of the girls, in mostly-pretend tears – “Dad! Nathan hit me with (insert just about any object that can resemble a light saber).”
Nathan, running down the stairs behind her – “I didn’t hit her hard enough to hurt!”
Me, to Nathan – “But, you DID hit her?”
Nathan – “Yes, but not hard enough to hurt.”
Me – “But, you DID hit her?”
Nathan – “Yes, but not hard enough to hurt.”
[Repeat until Nathan just says, “Yes”.]
Me – “Do you get to decide what hurts someone else?”
And then I get convicted myself. How many times have I argued with Amy about why what I said or did shouldn’t have hurt her? How many people have I brushed off or flat-out ignored because I thought they were acting more hurt than they really should have been? How does that square with the times I get angry and bitter at people who refuse to believe that what they did actually hurt ME?
Who in your life is saying, “You’re hurting me!”? What would change if you started believing them?
Filed under Main, Ministry
I don’t remember a terrible amout from Mrs. Huckaby’s math classes in high school. I remember she HATED it that I used erasable ink pens instead of pencil. I remember that she always had colors smeared on her hand from writing with markers on the overhead projector. I remember being the “Hammer Weilder” for Mu Alpha Theta – a job that sounds a lot more dangerous than it really is.
And I remember Inversely Proportional Relationships. Basically, in an inversely proportional relationship, as one variable increases its counterpart decreases as a given factor remains constant. Like a teeter-totter – if I go up, you go down and the middle remains constant. (Here is the Wikipedia link of you need the official refresher. I’d give you Mrs. Huckaby’s e-mail if I had it.)
I can give you a few very personal examples. If my eating remains constant, my exercise and my weight are inversely proportional. (Lately, my weight is kicking my exercise’s tail.) If my lack of sleep remains constant, my energy level and my coffee consumption are inversely proportional.
But here is the issue that is hitting my heart these days. As the craziness of life remains constant, my attitude is inversely proportional with my relationship with God. As my “quiet time” decreases, my anxiety skyrockets. As my prayer life dwindles, my impatience with my kids explodes. When I skimp on reading the Bible, I binge on ego and arrogance.
And there is one more trick with this problem: you can only change it by focusing on one variable. I can’t decide to be less anxious and therefore become closer to God. I can’t determine to be more patient with my kids and consequently suddenly have more peace.
No, the only way to decrease anxiety is to increase surrender. The only way to decrease impatience is to increase humility. The only way to decrease self is to increase Christ.
The only solution for this equation is knowing The Unchangeable Constant!
What will you do today to know Him more?
I’m not a big fan of anything you have to fix every time you use it. Like pencils. Write for any length of time and you have to sharpen it. (And don’t even get me started on emptying the pencil sharpener…) I used to make my high school math teacher crazy doing trig and analytic geometry with Paper-mate erasable ink pens. Sorry, Mrs. Huckabee.
I have that same sort of fear about starting my own blog. I know that if you want people to read it, you have to keep it pencil-lead sharp. ‘Cause you’re going to read it once and then want it updated. So I’m nervous, but going to go ahead and give it a try. Because I have learned a few things over the years…
#1 – Ink isn’t very good for math.
#2 – Some things that require constant “upkeep” are worth it. Primarily, relationships. Ever notice that most of what we do in our relationships is “upkeep”? We have to go back and fix a harsh word we shouldn’t have said, or a feeling we inadvertently hurt. Regardless of how much time we got to spend together yesterday we want to and need to spend more together today. And with each passing day, as life changes each of us just a little bit, we have to be mindful of where each other is coming from and where each other is going and how the activity of life affects us on our way. And the constant upkeep is worth it, because relationships are worth it.
So I’m starting a blog even though I hate pencils. What are things in your life that require constant upkeep, but you do…you stick with it…you constantly keep it up…because it is worth it? (And don’t say blogs!)