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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Longsuffering

If I’m in a mood, I can really see myself as longsuffering.

Especially when it’s week 10 of college football season and I’ve spent nearly every one of the past ten Saturdays listening to my football-fanatic husband hoot, holler, clap, and scream at the television at the people on the screen, who cannot hear him.  THEY CANNOT HEAR YOU PLEASE BE QUIET THANK YOU

Especially when I’m looking down the barrel of a scowly kid who I’ve just told, like I have every other morning this week, that she cannot wear a tank top to school when it’s 30 degrees out and I don’t care if you are wearing a jacket.

Especially when I find myself at the grocery store for the third time this week because I keep forgetting one item that I need for any given meal.

Especially when I want to browse Facebook to see what my friends are up to, and all I see are political rants and smack-talk about each other’s sports teams.

Especially when we decide to do some home improvements and two months later the oven dies, then the air conditioner, the hot water heater, and the battery in my car.

And especially, ESPECIALLY, when I ask my family for helping tidying up their messes in the house and I get many levels of whining, excuses, and grief as a response.

Longsuffering.

 Sigh.

Look, I know people have problems, bigger ones than the ones I’ve outlined.  I don’t suffer illness, drug addiction, abuse, poverty, or oppression.  Humanity can sling dirtier evils than what I’ve experienced.

Maybe I can't say I'm longsuffering, exactly.  Maybe I'm more world-weary.  Maybe just whiny. 

But when I'm feeling bad about what I'm suffering through, my call is the same as everyone else’s: to “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering…" Colossians 3:12 (NKJV)

and I need to remember that

the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

Do you see what else abides with longsuffering?  Mercy.  Kindness.  Meekness.  Gentleness.  Temperance.

And I would do well to put these characteristics into effect while suffering long.

I guess I can practice those, too.  Now if I could only get my husband to watch football more quietly.

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