Friday, 4 October 2013

In The Scheme of Things

Sometimes wisdom comes with age, i.e. something that may have upset me years ago no longer seems very important.  Now there could be some logical explanations for why I may not react in a negative way to the same stimuli.  First is that my memory is nowhere near what it used to be.  I have limited disc space which I cannot afford to fill with useless clutter.  It is hard to hold a grudge when you can’t remember what it is you are upset about. 

Secondly when you are playing in life’s fourth quarter (that means I’m old) you can’t afford to alienate the few people who might show up to your memorial service.

Here’s the point (which you were hoping I would get to) when something bothers me about something that someone has done I ask myself two sets of questions.  The first set I’ll refer to my “Eternity Questions”.  In other words in the total scheme of things how important is this current transgression.  Will it be important an hour from now?  Will it be important a week from now, how about a year from now, or 100 years from now?    There was an old expression that referred to “making a mountain out of a molehill”.  It is amazing how I don’t hear old expressions anymore, but I digress.  In other words am I taking something that is insignificant and blowing it up out of proportion to its importance?   This becomes even more obvious when you apply the Eternity test.  If what I am dealing with doesn’t have eternal consequences how important can it be.

The other question I ask myself, as a reality check, is “What might God be trying to teach me about my heart?”  Have I made something more important than my relationship with my wife?  Is it more important that I get my way, win the argument, or have my desires met than that I treat my wife well?

As an example let’s assume that my wife is running late (which she never does) and I am getting all worked up about being late for our reservation.  A week from now how important would being 15 minutes late be in the scheme of things.  Probably not very important.  Why does it bother me so?  Perhaps my parents were punctuality freaks and being on time was a highly treasured value.  Or perhaps I am worried about what someone else will think of me when we arrive late.  In either case it is all about me, and God may be working on my impatience. What would be an alternative solution – call the restaurant and tell them we are running a bit late.  Keep the blood pressure down and our relationship up!

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