I had a reality check today. At least one. Beginning with my room this morning—pretty much trashed after a weekend of company and me practically living in the living room (imagine that—living in a living room). Lydia had left clothes on the floor—the whole floor, in random spots where she’d probably flung them as she changed. Headcoverings littered the dresser, and dirty clothes spilled out of the cabinet where they should have been neatly tucked away—hidden. Just as the thoughts “what a mess! Where’d she learn this?” registered in my mind, I received my first reality check. Who has she been living with for the past, oh, eleven years? Who has been given the responsibility for most of her bringing up? Who me? Uh. Yeah.
Josiah came to me at lunch asking to use my computer. Honestly, I don’t mind him using my computer in the least, it’s just that, for him, use of my computer requires me. “How do I sign into Mom’s webmail to send this e-mail? Can you help me scan in this image to send Moriah? Where do I find the Day’s e-mail address? You don’t have it?” It seems to be a habit of his to dream up fun schemes—that include me. Like the whole host of military pictures he took and brought in to me asking to put them on my laptop. “And then what?” I asked. “I’ll need to borrow it sometime to edit them all together,” he answered. That’s because he’s seen me edit pictures together, but I know he’ll have the hardest time figuring out my editing program. These things are important to him, I know, but I really can’t justify putting the fabrication of military IDs at the top of my priority list. Reality check. My priority list? Wait a minute. Isn’t my family supposed to be at the top of my priority list? Wasn’t I supposed to be looking for ways to serve each of them? Uh. Yeah.
After lunch, Mom still didn’t have a grocery list made up for me. I’d asked her about it last night so she’d be ready early today and it wouldn’t run me into supper-fixing time. “I’m sorry,” she always says, and I always say “That’s okay” but inside I’m groaning. And I groan like that in town when she calls me because she remembered something else she needed in Wal-Mart after I’ve already climbed into the car. Or when she waits to give me her Kroger’s list until I’m driving through lunch-hour traffic. What am I doing that’s so important? Nothing. I just hate to be inconvenienced. Reality check. Inconvenienced—that means I’m looking out for my own interests, doesn’t it? That means I think I’m all important, don’t bother me, doesn’t it? Uh. Yeah.
Guess what sits right in front of my nose any time I’m at my desk. This nifty little list of the definitions of love from First Corinthians thirteen, along with practical applications of those definitions. Guess how often I read it. Uh. Not very.
If I actually read it, I’d remember that my place is right here, serving my family through love—that means putting up with other’s quirks, going out of my way to serve, thinking of other’s needs, brushing off inconveniences (am I really going to hang onto these sorts of things in eternity?) and holding out even when things get a little uncomfortable for me. “But,” whispers that mosquito-whining voice, “They should be treating me with respect, too.” Well, hush. If nobody ever annoyed me, I guess I’d never get to practice real love, would I? Besides that, I don’t do it for them—I do it for the Lord, and I don’t think I can complain about Him practicing what He preaches. What am I worried about? I know I’m doing God’s will, and isn’t that what I beg to do every morning? Uh. Yeah.
Lord, Thou demonstrated love
When Thou sent Jesus from above,
Then asked, in sacrifice to Thee,
I’d love my brother equally.
So I say three small words and then
I think my duty done, but when
He doesn’t notice, I complain,
Then turn and do, to Thee, the same.