Friday, January 4, 2008

Christmas Reflections

We spent two weeks in Massachusetts with my parents for Christmas. It could have been a time for making great memories or nightmares. There was tension in the air as we are very different from the rest of my family, and I for one was about to crack under the pressure of it all. We arrived on the 19th, and on Christmas Eve it all hit the fan. We were supposed to go with my parents to my Uncle's church service that night. My Dad had told us that they serve communion wine, not grape juice. The kids were uncomfortable with taking the wine, even after Darin and I explained to them that it was not wrong, so we told them they didn't have to take it because since it is a Holy Sacrament. We never want them to take it unless they can focus on Jesus, not on what they are drinking. Well, there was a huge fuss because it appeared that we were judgmental and no amount of talking was fixing the situation. We wanted to go home and my parents wanted to send us there but none of us could afford it.

But that is a good thing because it forced us all to do the right thing. We all decided to drop it and forgive. The rest of the trip was great with no more tension. I share this with all of you because God has been teaching me something and I think you can benefit from what I am learning.

I am the type of person that wants to know the why behind everything. I have a tendency to let things bother me too much as well. In the last few months I had a situation not unlike this one were I couldn't seem to get anywhere in mending a relationship that was strained. That person never understood me and seemed to not be interested in doing so either. They saw the situation the way they saw it and I couldn't convince them to see it any other way. They told me to just let it go and trust them. I had no choice and decided they were right. That situation still bothers me, though, because to me it was never resolved.

Now I was faced with the same situation. I felt like nothing I said was heard. It was as if there were screens on my parent's ears and they heard very different things from what I said. I wanted to defend myself and make them see my point of view. They didn't see things my way. Dad suggested that we just forget it and at first that seemed like no solution at all. But when I realized that there was no other alternative and the next day was Christmas I was desperate to salvage the day for the kid's sake. But it turned out to be the best thing because for once I was able to let it go and we had a great visit.

I mull things over for a long while and I was asking God what am I to learn from these two situations. He brought the following scripture to mind:

Romans 12:18


Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Letting go of "my rights" allowed me to live at peace with everyone. I had to decide which was more important - getting my way or living at peace. And peace, my friends is well worth the price.

1 comment:

Debbie C. said...

Thanks for being so transparent about how and what God is teaching you. I appreciate your heart for the Lord and I know He will continue to lead you. I am glad you stuck it out with your folks and glad you all ended up having a great holiday. We missed you but getting with family is so important.