Judy and I are just back from a two week trip to Florida. We spent two weeks in the car touring the South. We are good traveling companions, but there where a few times when there was tension between us. Where to go, but to do, and when to go. We had to make decisions. At times I did not like the tension. I came to realize that I was wanting my own way. It was hard for me to admit how selfish and controlling I still can be with my wife. I was reminded of I Cor 13:4-5, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged” (NLT). As I read these words, I realize that I have failed to “love test” with my wife.
But guess what. I am learning to accept this reality. In my mind I want so bad to be a “real spiritual” man. But still in my heart and actions I am far from the ideal. This only proves that I am still in the process of being changed. In my growth as a man I will not be able to skip some the steps that God has for me. I can easily pat myself on the back and think I am moving right along. But God has his way of keeping me humble before him and before my wife. But I am learning to take it as a man. Yes, Al you have failed to be what you though you had become. But the reality is that you are not where you think you are. That’s ok. As long as I can admit my failure and humbly accept reality.
I guess two things brought me down to earth these last two weeks. The first is the way I handled our discussions on where to go, when to go and how to go. I did not leave room for more imput from Judy. When it did not go my way, I did not like it at times. When Judy pointed that out to me, it made me defensive. But I have grown in the sense that I can accept that in my life and move on. The second factor as just a simply revelation that came to me one day while waiting in line at McDonald’s. I was impatient and inwardly critical of what I thought was slow service. I realized how judgment and critical I was. So much for being really spiritually mature. I accepted the insight with the prayer that I can learn to yield more of my old patterns to the work of God in my heart
I mention these examples from my own life as an encouragement to the “wild men” who are reading this blog. You are going to fail. You are going to fall from the pedestal you have placed yourself on. You will need to face reality. This is a natural part of growth. Like me, don’t be to hard on yourself. Accept the grace of God in your life. Yield those patterns of the false self to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. Don’t see each failure as an either/or situation. Failure in one area does not mean defeat. It only means that God is lovingly slowing you that you need to be dependant on him for any meaningful change in your life. Again it comes to letting go rather then hanging on.