Oh, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it?
Here I am, sitting on my couch in Charlotte next to my snoring 13-year-old puppy. It’s spring break, and so on Wednesday I came here to relax and to try to get some progress made on the wedding. A lot has happened that I never shared, so to sum up all the potential blog entries I had in mind to write from about Sunday until Wednesday…
“work! stress! ahh! wedding! freak out! no control! God? You there? change, change, change!”
Now I’m in Charlotte, and I haven’t had internet until tonight, when my wonderful fiance directed me on how to make it work on this laptop. So now, here I sit. It’s 11:30 at night, and I’m very tired. However, today I feel like progress was made on the wedding plans… at least, I got to look up a lot of information on the internet and make a lot of phone calls. There are some drastic changes being made, and after one big decision is settled upon, we’ll have more of a vision on what will be happening.
What’s frustrating is that this past week I either haven’t been able to sit down for a devotion at the time I tend to do one, or I sit down and nothing really happens. I always wonder how I can feel so on fire for a few days, or for a couple of weeks, and then suddenly I drag. I don’t really have any wisdom or insight for this, I’m just noting it.
Due to the lack of real, consistent quiet time, My mind instead has been wandering back to the same verse I’ve thought about for awhile. It says:
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” – James 3:17
I like this verse a lot. Wisdom isn’t about us being right or knowing everything. It’s about our approach. And it tells us to be first pure – the first thing is to go into the circumstance with the RIGHT MOTIVES. Then to be peaceable, which cancels out my tendency to try to be right and break the ego of another by proving them wrong. Next is to be gentle, which goes along with peaceable – not pushing. Calm. I’ll skip the next for a moment and move on… full of mercy, which cancels out condemnation or judgment. Full of good fruit, which means that the PRODUCT of wisdom should be good things (such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control). Wisdom should be impartial, so that every single person, no matter the circumstance or their history or any other factor, is given the consideration of the same approach. And finally, being sincere… to be real. Genuine. Not putting on a mask, but instead just Jesus Christ as the only thing we know.
As for the 4th one… OPEN TO REASON… that is HUGE for me. That one runs through my head more than any other. No matter how right we think we are, or know we are, or think that we know we are, we must always be open to reason. I have so much trouble with this, especially because I can be so convinced that I am right that I am blind to anything else. What if I was ALWAYS open to the reason of the other side? I feel like just being open like that would allow me to respect them a little more, and to hear them out, rather than pretend to listen to what their saying as I draw up my next line of defense.
You know someone who comes to my mind when I discuss being open to reason? Dumbledore. In the 4th book, Harry’s name has just been drawn from the Goblet of Fire, which is supposed to have been impossible since he is under-age. The headmasters of the other schools suspect cheating, as no more than one member of each school is allowed to participate as a school champion and with Harry selected, Hogwarts has two of them. A discussion ensues among the headmasters and teachers:
“Did you ask an older student to put it [Harry’s name] into the Goblet of Fire for you?” said Professer Dumbledore, ignoring Snape.
“No!” said Harry vehemently.
“Ah, but of course ‘e is lying!” cried Madame Maxime. Snape was now shaking his head, his lip curling.
“He could not have crossed the Age Line,” said Professor McGonagall sharply. “I am sure we are all agreed on that-”
“Dumbly-dorr must ‘ave made a mistake wiz ze line,” said Madame Maxime, shrugging.
“It is possible, of course,” said Dumbledore politely.
– Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, pg. 276
Now, if you have read the Harry Potter books, you know that Dumbledore is the greatest wizard in the world. There is no question about it. His response isn’t the result of his overlooking his ability. The truth is, Dumbledore is as wise as he is capable, and he presents one aspect of that wisdom in this excerpt. Madame Maxime is being completely unreasonable in her comment, and probably knows it herself or is allowing her pride to overlook it. However, Dumbledore does not throw the facts back at her – that he’s more capable of any type of magic than her, that he’d like to see her try to be half as good as him, or that she should not question his ability that has proven itself time and time again. No, he is respectful and humble. Open to the other possibility.
Could I humble myself enough to hold my tongue from spilling all the reasons I believe I have to be right? And not only that, could I allow myself to consider the other side before battling against it?