Occasionally, I have a break down around the house and go on a small rampage. I pick up the millions of socks in every size imaginable. I gather countless pairs of shoes and pile them by the front door. I pull out the trash bag and load it up with paper plates, wrappers, and pizza boxes. I begin to yell out orders for all the kids to pick up their junk. Now! I reach a point where I can’t stand the mess anymore and something must change. “Z” then informs all the kids that, “mom be trippin'” and they better start cleaning. They all jump up and get after it and the crises passes. We do this about once a month around here. It is part of our routine.
I was thinking on the way to church this morning, after making my rounds through the neighborhood picking up kids, that I was getting annoyed with the small things. The daily irritation of kids tracking in dirt, stains on the couch, and no food left in the pantry was starting to get on my nerves. Then, I got to church and we discussed the story of the Good Samaritan and I asked God to change my heart. After church, while dropping off kids at house after house – I began to feel annoyed again. I was tired and hungry and ready to be done with children. Except I am never done with kids – we have kids here even when we don’t have “our” kids.
Then it dawned on me, it is the annoying things in our lives that can make the most impact on people. It is when we are like the Good Samaritan and stop, helping our neighbor when they need it. It is when we go out of our way to pick up others for church. It is when we don’t jump down each other throats when they irritate us. It is when we keep picking up plates so they have food to eat. It is when we keep loving those who have hurt us or forgiving those who have offended us.
It is when we show grace when they deserve judgement.
We are daily surrounded by opportunities to choose to love when we don’t feel like it, what will you do today?