Cash office is my time to think. It is my time to “journal” in my mind. I think of random things, funny things, even songs or movies will come to mind. It is like my own talk show for two hours. Combine that with my ever-present cup of coffee, it looks like an idea situation. 🙂
Today, random thoughts started formulating in my mind. One thing led to another when all of a sudden my mind started simmering with thoughts of yesterday’s work experience, which had caused me to become angry. I realized that I was starting to let my mind boil with angry thoughts, when really all was said and done and was not that big of a deal. I caught myself and thought, “Why is it so hard to let go of things?”
I see this pattern in my life. If I get hurt (or wounded pride) by someone then I get defensive. It has caused some severe damage in relationships in the past. Things I regret saying, but I know that I am forgiven by those I hurt and God. So I must let it go. Once I realized that I was starting to steam today, God brought to mind of things I should be thinking about instead:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-25, ESV
It is easy to say the word love. I say it about everything–“I love this” or “I love that”. But when it comes to relationships, to say “I love you” means that I need to love as God loves. God loves unconditional. Sure, it is easy to love your family. But what about the homeless, the forgotten, the ones in prison, drug addicts or your enemies? Romans 12:9-21 talks about love in action. “Love must be sincere…Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (verse 9a-10). If I choose who I love, then I am a hypocrite. I must also love God with my whole heart. “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself'”. Luke 10:27. Pretty simple–Love God, love others, love myself (and in that order). 🙂
Psalm 30 is a song of joy. “Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime.Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (verse 4-5). Isaiah 55:12 also says, “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” There are so many other verses or songs that came to mind. There are some days when I think, “What could I possibly be joyful about today?” I think that is just it…it is backwards! Hope is joy! Even in the darkest times, there is hope…and in that we can have joy! It is not easy though. Sorrows come, but they only last for a moment compared to the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. And that brings joy. 🙂
First thing I thought of was when Jesus calmed the storm. He had been sleeping in the boat and the disciples woke Him in fear of the storm. “And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm,” Mark 4:39. The peace that God gives is enough to calm any storm…even when nothing seems possible. The months following the blood clot–everything just seemed so restless and confusing. Then I asked God for peace. It came. It was still the hardest time of my life, but it came. It is in those moments that you understand that God is in control and you just have to trust Him. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10a.
If you have ever seen Lord of the Rings, you will note that Smeagol and Gollum are the same character but two different personalities. Smeagol is the good and Gollum is the bad. In the Return of the King, Smeagol and Gollum are talking while Frodo and Sam are sleeping. They (Smeagol and Gollum) want the Precious (the Ring). Smeagol does not want to hurt Frodo, but Gollum keeps convincing him that they cannot have the Precious without it. Gollum keeps telling Smeagol to have patience.
Life always seems in a hurry: Always on the go, never wanting to wait, must have now style. Patience can mean waiting five minutes in the line at the grocery store or waiting a few months for a friend who is planning on visiting. I think patience is also where we get anticipation. While we wait, we get anticipation. When we hurry while waiting, we get antsy. For me, this is my worst problem! I am not very patient when it comes to time. I don’t like racing against time. I don’t like being late. I am not a very nice person if we are in a hurry and going to be late. It is where my OCD shines bright. I set my alarm and check it a few more times even though I know it is set.
Many things in life can test my patience, such as waiting for a representative on the phone but instead being on hold for forever. But being patient has great rewards. Imagine if a pregnant lady was not patient during her 9 months of the child in the womb! When the baby does come, there is much joy! Right now, I am learning to have patience and pray about a few needs in my life. And I know God has in mind exactly the answer, but I have to wait until His perfect timing reveals them.
There is an old Steve Green song that sings,
Be kind to one another, and build each other up.
Build each other up. Build each other up!
Be kind to one another, and build each other up.
Up, up, up, up, up, up, up!
I think giving sincere compliments to one another is a way to build each other up. Gossip is a way to tear each other down. It always happens to me: I start talking about someone and they come walking behind me. Not a very fun experience. Best way is, “If you can’t say anything nice…don’t say it at all!” Or Ephesians 4:29 says, ” Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
To me, kindness goes along with Goodness. You can be kind in words or deeds. Likewise with goodness. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven,” Matthew 5:14-16.
I think the best way to say this is–God is faithful! I have seen it time and time again in my life from small details to big events. Most importantly though…I want to be faithful to God, because He is so faithful to me. One of my favorite hymns is “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”
“Great is Thy faithfulness”, O God my Father. There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not. As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.
“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!” Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—”Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!
We used to own rabbits. They were so soft and when you pet them, you did it gently as not to scare them. I often think of God’s gentleness in terms of His peace. Isaiah 66:13a says, “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” Believe it or not, but my real full name means “Gentle.” Although sometimes I am far from that, I thought to myself how I could be more gentle (not just my name). I can be more patient, kind to others even when they are rude, less prideful, less selfish, more compassionate, more loving, more encouraging. It is amazing how something such as gentleness can appear so small, yet impact so big.
This is another. It is like a bad habit. I think for any individual there are different areas that need to have more self-control. A few months ago, I deleted my Facebook. Why? That is everyone’s question. Mine too. But I know that for a few years since I started it, my self-control of time spent on FB has been in quite a battle. I tried a lot of things: staying off every other week, only getting on a few times a week, even just once a day. But I kept coming back to the same thing: FB was my obsession. One night as I logged off, I just knew it was time. Ignoring the thought, I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth. And then it came: You should delete your obsession.
Getting rid of an obsession is not always that easy–and believe me…it stinks! But for right now, while I learn more about self-control in the little things in life, that is what I need to be doing. All these Fruits of the Spirit are a never-ending cycle of lessons learned and to be learned. It is life, because we are Being.
Today in cash office–what could have been an anger session in my mind turned into a lesson. God showed me areas that I can improve on in life. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you all. More to come…