Sometimes I see my sin nature and ugly side more than others. Today is one of those days. Moving and transition is not bringing out the best in me.
I’m crabby and feel completely out of sorts. I’m hyper-sensitive and negative. I find myself criticizing my husband for criticizing. Ironic, huh? I find myself being cranky because someone else around me is, and the whole thing escalates. Not pretty. This fresh realization came this morning, which would be pretty depressing if I hadn’t been reminded of something great yesterday. Our pastor talked about the power of God that lives inside of us when we are Christians. When I decided to follow Jesus a great thing happened, even though I don’t feel it some days. The Holy Spirit, with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, came to live in me. That same power is available to those of us who believe.
Another reason that my overly cranky and stressed state is not hopeless is because this morning I got humble. Get down on the floor with my face down humble. And even then I have still battled irritability all day. So much of my attitude has to do with my choice: How will I respond today? I dislike the person I am without the love and joy that God can give me. And it truly is a choice; every morning, every hour, every afternoon. Will I ride the wave of my emotion or yield myself to God and allow Him to work in me? Or be the version of me that I don’t like…and nobody else likes?
I am also critical. For example, several years ago we came back to the United States after living in West Africa for two years. I really struggled with being critical of other people. Keep reading to the end before you judge me too harshly. I had seen so much physical suffering and poverty during the course of our time there. It was impossible to escape the reality of it on a daily basis. You’d think it would be really easy to acclimate back to American culture, after all, we were “back home”, right? I felt so often like a stranger and alien in my own home culture.
I remember a scenario that happened frequently. Someone would ask, “How was your trip?” My first thought was self-righteous and critical: It wasn’t a trip, it was our life for 2 years. We sold our belongings and moved there. Judgemental! It was a fair question…most of the time the person was asking because it seemed like a really long mission trip to them. My next thought: How do I sum it up in 60 seconds or less? Do they really want to know or do they want to hear the short answer, “It was great!”? I would gauge what I thought the person wanted to hear, then I’d ask about their life for the past few years. Often, it would be about the stress of remodeling or moving to a bigger house and how stressful that was. Judgemental again. I’d think: Are you kidding me? That is what you call the most stressful event of your past couple years?
Today I have a little more gracious attitude about that, since we’re at the tail end of remodeling and moving. It is stressful. And then I’ll feel guilty for being stressed because I know how very blessed I am. Why should I feel stressed when we have a beautiful home that is more than I could have ever hoped for? Maybe it’s time to go to bed. Who cares if it’s not even 7pm…Tomorrow is a new day!