Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What Ruffles Your Soul?

We’ve been encountering a conflict almost every morning it seems during homeschool. It’s an issue that seems trivial to me—but yet so easily erupts into bad feelings. And yesterday I addressed both parties yet again with the conditions of their hearts and how they felt about their hearts toward one another. We had just read a commentary on Colossians and I asked, “How could we apply the Truth of what we just read to this situation?”

Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with one another and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:12-15)

Could we grow in humility, forgiveness, and love toward one another? Desiring to change our own sinful heart attitudes even more than trying to change the other person?

A couple of weeks ago, Jordan challenged me about my bad attitude, saying, “Mommy, if you’re going to make us change our bad attitudes, you need to change yours too.”

Ouch. I had just been defending myself over why my BA was justified. It wasn’t. I repented and thanked God for rebuking me through my daughter.

For some reason, I’ve had an image in my mind recently of a game I don’t especially like called Whack-a-Mole. Maybe you’ve played it before. The object is to quickly beat the ever-arising pesky moles back down into their holes with a sledge hammer as soon as they pop their heads up. I’ve been picturing these moles as Pride and Selfishness, jumping up and shouting, “I need attention!” “I want my way!” Bop. Bop those ugly heads back down. Putting my Self to death. It’s an ongoing battle, isn’t it?

One of the books CJ gave me for my birthday was The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux (free on kindle). St. Therese had such incredible insight and spiritual maturity (and only lived to be 24!) I love the way she described her heart as being filled with God’s will, so that everything else would glide gently across the surface.

“Our Lord’s will fills my heart to the brim, and hence, if aught else is added, it cannot penetrate to any depth, but, like oil on the surface of limpid waters, glides easily across. If my heart were not already brimming over, and must needs be filled by the feelings of joy and sadness that alternate so rapidly, then indeed it would be flooded by a wave of bitter pain; but these quick-succeeding changes scarcely ruffle the surface of my soul, and in its depths there reigns a peace that nothing can disturb.”

I want my heart to be like that, don’t you? I really don’t want to let little things get under my skin and ruffle my soul. I’d rather let them slide like rain drops off a rain coat. So that I stay dry inside. The underlying issue of whether I ruffle or not is what is filling my heart.

In Extravagant, Bryan Jarrett says, “When we tap into the Source of living water, we experience supernatural empowerment to care about things we didn’t care for before, love people we avoided, and act boldly to do God’s will. As we yield our hearts to God, we open a channel for His Spirit to flow into us to fill us and out of us as an overflow of His grace to those around us. Are you experiencing His flow in your life? What is flowing from you right now? Or maybe a better question is: ‘What would your family and friends say is flowing from you?’”

What ruffles your soul?

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