Motivation to Not "Cry Over Spilt Milk" :)

4/14/2000

Hi Family,

I had something kind of special happen recently that I thought I’d put some words on. It was very helpful to “see” this in a practical situation and i thought it might help you all, too! : )

Through no fault of anyone’s, a big stain of greasy dirt was left on the carpet. I found out about it late in the evening and was looking at the situation. And as it so often goes, it is so easy to want to “cry” or get frustrated and impatient over “spilt milk.” There it was, a dirt stain on the carpet, really getting under my skin. I recognized it immediately and it was HARD to turn from it. I wanted to lash out at someone, or blame or be mad or resentful that this thing was infringing on MY time and energy. Really stupid, huh? Anyway, at the same time, I was also asking God for help—because I really DIDN’T want to hold on to this totally stupid bad attitude. A few minutes later, I was looking up at John in his bunkbed where he was resting and the thought hit me, “But you won’t be able to love John like you want to if you hold on to the junky thoughts and attitudes.” OHH!!! What a terrible, but at the same time, wonderful Thought that was! How something seemingly “small” like how I responded to a dirty carpet really MATTERED—and my choice about it would determine what kind of capacity I would have to love John in the morning. What a Thought! So simple but so powerful. What a CLEAR “way out!!” If I chose to allow something so trivial and temporary as a dirty carpet to rule me, I’d miss out on being more One with Jesus and knowing His Love more and being More to the people around me. How sad that would be!! How pointless! What a great loss!! But in just letting the attitudes go, letting them drain away and turning to Him, we can be free and available and Full to love others.

And then today, one of the children came to me asking if they really had to do the math problem the way the book asked. The child was in a state of “I don’t like this and I don’t wanna do it this way.” We started talking about as soon as you let it “get to you” and “bug you” and get you all frustrated or impatient….as soon as that happens, the issue is no longer about the math at all. It is now an issue between you and God. It’s not about me, it’s not about the book or the instructions in the book. Now it’s about how you’re going to respond to God’s authority in your life. His ownership of you. After all, He DID SAY, “Whatever you do, do it with ALL your heart.” It can’t possibly be “all your heart,” if part of your heart is busy being given over to fussing and fuming and rebelling and getting frustrated. We went on to talk about how the interaction with something so small as a math problem is VERY related to how you are going to treat the next person you encounter. The two are VERY related!! If you let sin dominate, and frustration, or impatience or bitterness or laziness or disrespect manifest itself in your attitudes about seemingly trivial affairs, you are allowing yourself to be corrupted by sin and stealing the place that is meant for Jesus and His love. It might seem like this lifeless “stuff” doesn’t really matter—you know, like math or chores or trash left on the floor or slamming the door or sloppiness, or…… but it DOES MATTER! “How can salt water and fresh water come from the same spring??” You can’t be in a “bent out of shape” way as you relate to “spilt milk” and then be Full with God’s Love and kindness to the people you want to love. It just doesn’t add up that way. If you want to Love, you have to BE Jesus in WHATEVER it is that you are dealing with. It is simply a spiritual truth that the way we interact with EVERY detail and attitude, whether fearfulness, or shrinking back, or giving up, or envy or comparison and stinginess or withholding love or frustration with the job or house or car or this or that circumstance; regardless of the source that triggers the sin, our response to it either ends up costing others because we lack Jesus; OR our response results in a heart and life available for Jesus to live through because we chose to love Him in the midst of it and haven’t cluttered our hearts with sin!!

Well, this is all Great News and Hallelujah for God’s faithfulness and forgiveness and Help!! I’m so grateful! He is really and truly pulling for us. Thanks for listening, and I really hope that whatever is True, finds its way into YOUR personal heart and life and circumstances and love for God. Goodnight….

much love, mary

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