Tuesday, July 12, 2016

An Ordinary Day

It was an ordinary morning as most of my mornings usually are. I had no reason to think it would not be just another ordinary day, too.

I got up, had breakfast and a short devotional time. It was going to be a very hot, humid day so I had planned to get outside early to water the garden and all my potted plants. My son-in-law had not had time to install my air conditioner before he left for a 3-day hiking trip, so I knew I would get no relief from the heat as the day wore on.

So, let me set this up for you - to water my garden is not as simple a task as it sounds. The faucet is on the back side of the house and my garden is on the side of the house, quite a distance away. I need to put two hoses together to be able to reach the whole garden. It was just the end of May, so I had not brought the hoses out of my garage yet, so I first needed to unwind them from their winter storage and hook them up to the faucet. Should have been easy, right?? Yeah, not so much!!

As I struggled to get them untangled, I started to sweat (yes, I know, women "perspire," not sweat; trust me, I was sweating; it was hot!!). I was still in the shade of the inside of the garage, but the day was heating up quickly. I struggled and sweated and sweated and struggled until finally, the hoses came loose and I lugged them out of the garage and headed toward the faucet.

That, too, became a chore and my struggle continued! The end of the hose was not screwing onto the faucet as easily as it should have. At this point, I am out in the hot sun and I am really sweating!!

FINALLY, the hose twisted onto the faucet after much struggling and grumbling!! Now I had to pull the hose along the backside of the house and thread it through and around lawn furniture and planted pots to underneath my porch, where I kept the hose during the summer for easy access. As I was working on this, the hose got kinked and hooked several times and I would have to walk back to the back side of the house and untangle it. Keep in mind, it is extremely hot and humid already and I was sweating like a pig!! I hate to sweat!! Did I mention that??

So, the third time the hose got caught, instead of walking back and patiently untangling it, I, in great frustration, yanked on it! When I did, the hose came loose with a jar and I bumped my head on the porch and then knocked over a flower pot and bicycle by the side of the house. The flowers and dirt spilled out of the pot all over the grass!!

I SWORE - several times, as a matter of fact and grumbled loudly! I was hot, mad and irritated!! Why, I thought, does everything always have to be so hard???!!!

Then, to add more fuel to the flame, I went around to the front of the house to get my watering wand that my daughter had borrowed to water her garden and hooked it up to my hose, only to find it was broken!!! I was not a happy camper!!

So, was this an ordinary day? I would say, yes. Things like this happen all the time. Was my behavior ordinary? Not at all! And that was the problem!

"We have to be exceptional in ordinary things,....."

I was not exceptional in those ordinary moments of my life that morning. I did not behave in such a manner as to glorify God. It didn't matter that no one was there to witness my meltdown. I was there and God saw me!

Guess what?  The test of character is not in the exceptional, but in the ordinary! No one was witness to my temper tantrum that morning. You would not know about it had I not told you - no one would know - except the one who matters most - my LORD!

I'm realizing it is much easier to exhibit godly character when everyone is watching you then in the ordinary moments of life when no one is around or where it doesn't seem to matter.

I once heard it said, "Integrity is who you are when no one is looking." Ordinary is the test of our character and integrity! And God is in the ordinary!

I'm convinced God really doesn't need us to achieve great things for Him; He's quite capable, in and of Himself, thank you very much! But He does care who we are in the ordinary things of life, how we treat the ordinary people we interact with on a daily basis, how we respond in ordinary circumstances and how we handle the drudgery of the ordinary day in and day out.

Do we show forth His character? Do we represent Him accurately? Is He pleased with our behavior, even when, or especially when, no one is looking?

I know I did not commit the unpardonable sin that day and I know that something like that might even happen again, but it sure was a moment for me to take notice of how quickly I can deteriorate into carnal ways if I'm not careful. My sense of entitlement was revealed to me again in the attitude of my heart in thinking that I shouldn't have to deal with this much aggravation. That is life! Stuff happens!

LORD, forgive me for grieving your heart by my behavior!

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