“If monotony tries me,
and I cannot stand drudgery;
if stupid people fret me and
little ruffles set me on edge;
if I make much of the trifles of life,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If: What Do I Know of Calvary Love?
by Amy Carmichael
Ah, patience. It is a virtue. So they say.
Some days I don't feel very virtuous. Do you?
I know it is hard to be patient when the phone is ringing, one kid is running around the house screaming, one kid is incessantly trying to talk your ear off and the baby is crying and meanwhile, hubby is watching TV, seemingly oblivious to it all.
Those are the Calgon moments. Remember those commercials? Woman comes home after a stressful day. Wants nothing more than to escape. She fills the bathtub, puts in Calgon bubble bath and as she slips under the water she pleads, "Calgon! Take me away!" and suddenly she is whisked into this peaceful presence and place of serenity.
Don't you wish it worked that way in real life? I know I do sometimes.
Or what about the day to day tedium. Same routine. Day in. Day out. Ad nauseum. Do you ever wish for some exciting adventure to come along and whisk you away from the doldrums in which you find yourself?
How about the stupid drivers in rush hour traffic? Come on, you know the ones. I know that you have one incident in your mind. What about that driver who doesn't want to wait for the line of traffic and drives on the shoulder or in the turn lane and then tries to weasel their way in (RIGHT. IN. FRONT. OF YOU!) at the light? Or the teen (or adult) illegally texting or talking on the phone and almost causing several wrecks by virtue of not paying attention? Aren't there times you just pray for a cop to be around to catch them in the act?
I know I have. I must confess. One of my biggest pet peeves is stupid, slow, inattentive drivers! I have precious cargo. I AM precious cargo. In traffic, almost nothing pushes my hot button faster than bad drivers.
What about running late for a meeting, or dinner, or movie, or anything that you have scheduled that is important to you because of someone else? Doesn't that just irk you no end? I'm sometimes a minute or two late to things because of my own interruptions and reasons, but when someone else makes me late to something I want to do, I find myself sometimes biting my tongue to keep from snapping and saying something I'll regret.
What do we do when the stress is too much to bear and the patience is running thin and we just can't seem to find any respite from it? What do we do when we are so bored in our lives and seek diversion in some way? (A true trap to fall in to as Satan lies in wait to snare us due to boredom!) How do we react to the outside influence of others in our lives that rub us the wrong way or make us late, or say the wrong thing or make a fool out of themselves when they're with us?
How are we supposed to act?
John 13:34-35 states "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
And Mark 12:31 says that the second greatest commandment is to 'Love your neighbor as yourself. 'There is no commandment greater than [these]."
What? You mean I have to love others even when they have pushed me to my limit? Even when they have wronged me? Even when I am the one doing the right thing and they're doing all the wrong things? Even when I am stressed BEYOND my limits and nobody is helping me to do anything? Even if I don't know them and they don't know me and they're acting like a jerk?
God says YES! Even then.
Let me tell you a story. One of my co-workers, who goes to my church, was talking about how they were on their way to one of the Sunday services and this other driver starts acting like a real jerk. Traffic for this Sunday was kind of heavy – I think it was like a Capitol 10K run or something like that – and this driver was speeding and cutting people off, honking and ended up flipping someone else off as they cut in front of my co-worker. Imagine my co-worker's great surprise to see that very car turn into the church parking lot in front of him! How in the world were others supposed to "know that this person was Jesus' disciple" through their witness? If anything, their actions said otherwise!
What about the boredom? When we find ourselves bored in our lives, we haven't been spending enough time with God. God will certainly give us peace, contentment, fulfillment, etc. When we get bored, we tend to hedge over into doing the wrong things as Satan puts them out there before us. Life with God is never a dull moment. There are moments of rest and respite and peace, but they're never truly "dull". Being bored is a great way for Satan to sneak in under our radar and infiltrate our lives in such a manner that we have no clue that it's even happening until it's too late.
Calvary love. What is it? By my definition, it is loving others as God has loved us. It is loving ourselves as God has loved us. If we truly love each other and ourselves as God has loved us then we will truly value the other person and see them as God sees them.
If we love others as God loves them, it is harder to get angry and frustrated and use words that are not seasoned with grace when we speak to them. If we love others as God loves them, we won't spoil our witness for Christ. Instead we will have a more pleasant home, a more harmonious relationship with our family and spouse, with our friends. We will be the living example of the kind of person God desires us to be and with that witness, draw others to Him.
If we love ourselves as God loves us, then we will find it hard pressed to be bored in our day to day routines as we discover new lessons that God is teaching us daily in order to grow us in Him. We will not find ourselves even tempted by the snares the devil tries to throw in our path to keep us or steer us from what God's plans for us are.
With Calvary love, we see the world in a whole new light. And when we see things as God sees them, we find ourselves more inclined to act and behave as servants, disciples and followers of God and we can change the world for Christ. One Calvary love encounter at a time.
For more perspectives on this In Other Words quote, please visit our hostess this week Patricia @ Typing One-Handed.