A string of hackneyed titles crossed my mind before I chose this one…”In Christ Alone”, “Nothing But the Blood”, “I Surrender All”.  But recently I was faced with the truth that I am 99.9% reliant on anything BUT Jesus.  The sad thing is there aren’t many who would find fault in some of the things I’ve used to help manage stress, anger and disappointment.

 

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For recurring sins in my life, I’ve found accountability partners to encourage me.  That’s biblical.

 

I’ve been working at a daycare for a year now, and I’ve found that in all honesty women in general are better equipped for this.  Fourteen voices barely talking but shouting for attention, seven of them whining because of some made up offense or just because, repeating every direction in a soft voice while a kid who you could strangle with one hand shouts “NO!” and sends a snot shower into your face.  I’ve daydreamed of killing about 80% of the kids I work with, and leaving the other 20% alone deep in the woods so nature can decide their fate.  I’ve tried every approach from just repeating “WWJD”, to counting to ten, to underhandedly insulting them.  Then I found that playing drums releases the stress and anger, so now I play drums almost every day for half an hour or so.  Respectable method right?

I’ve been married for a few months now, and of course there are all kinds of disputes and misunderstandings there.  So I do what I read in all the marriage books: remind myself of why I love her, dwell on the positive things she has done for me, never ask her to change something if I’m not willing to change something myself, fake it till I make it (with affection, not love of course) , learn to compromise.  We’ve done our best to talk through every problem and have only gone to bed upset once.  Not bad right?

My dad once told me (brace yourselves) that “the size of a man is what it takes to make him angry”.  Instantly cured my road rage.  Makes it easier to keep my cool when a kid stares me in the eye while he pours his milk on the floor.  “I’m a bigger man than this, no toddler is gonna push me over the edge”.

And we have probably all heard at some point that we can’t judge someone based on the windows of interaction we have because we may not know what they are going through behind the scenes.  I friend of mine who works in food service recently told me a story of a woman he nearly blew up on because she took way too long to decide what she wanted, even after waiting in line for five to ten minutes.  He kept his cool, only to discover that she had, two minutes before walking into the restaurant, discovered that her husband was cheating on her.  True story.  With that and like stories in mind, as well as our own moments of weakness as reminders, it becomes much easier to cut someone else some slack.

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Quite simply though, none of these things are Jesus.  And everything else WILL fail.  There are masterful methods of avoiding this fact.  Delay tactics at best.  And I fancy myself among modern legends of self-motivators and inspire-ers.  But I can feel it all coming full circle…all the issues I put aside and drowned out, all the stresses and challenges I avoided for fear of failure, all the personal weaknesses I re-worded to be faults in others.  It’ll be kicking and screaming, but God will take me, I am eerily certain of that.  And everything else will fade away.

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