Friday, 18 November 2011

In the Scheme of Things

scales of justice
I have come to the conclusion that the ability to truly “overlook” what we consider to have been a slight or a minor injustice is a skill worth developing. Perhaps I’m coming to this conclusion because I have been reading a number of books that focus on eternity. Now I can’t begin to comprehend eternity, all I know is that if I’m unfortunate enough to live until I am one hundred eternity will be a gazillion times longer.

The gist of these books is that thoughts of eternity should shape my thoughts and actions in the here and now. So 300 years from now will it be important to anyone that I missed trash day; that I squeezed the toothpaste from the wrong end; or that I forgot to pick up the milk at the grocery store? Will those things even matter a year from now? I think not.

How many times do couples argue about things that would be considered frivolous in the grand scheme of life? The toast is too dark; the car is pulled in too close to the front of the garage; the dark clothes haven’t been washed; my car keys weren’t put back where they should have been. And the list goes on. Before we know it all these offenses have piled up and we have come to the conclusion that we have married the wrong person or at the very least that we are in a marriage that falls far short of what we expected it to be.

It is safe to assume that this is not the first time that these irritating behaviors have surfaced and most likely there will be a repeat performance of this or a similar behavior. It is also safe to assume that what couples argued about last week will come up again this week or the next.

For a moment imagine that you were married to a slob – sorry if that offends. There is a reasonably good chance that your husband/wife would not have won the Good Housekeeping seal of approval before you got married. Furthermore let’s speculate that you place a high value on keeping a home neat. Thus you are continually frustrated at your spouse’s disregard for organization and cleanliness. News flash, most likely your spouse will not change. Nagging is not a spiritual gift and it has never proved to be particularly effective form of motivation. We cannot change our spouse, they can only change themselves. What you can change is your attitude toward your spouse. Either learn to tolerate his/her messiness or pick up after them and do it cheerfully.

messy room
Sometimes accepting your partner for who they are can be a big step. Although you might want your partner to behave differently, practice loving your spouse for whom they are today. If you can’t convince your spouse to change, your energy may be better spent focusing on eternity.

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