Tuesday, May 8, 2012
fits & failings
This weekend there was some fit-throwing going on in our little house. Jude was tired. Village life was exciting for the little guy. So exciting in fact, that he woke at 4:45 most mornings. After a full day of traveling home, Sunday found us happy to be back but a little more worn and torn than usual.
I'd like to write that the only one throwing fits was the almost-2-year-old, but that wouldn't be an accurate account. I stayed up late when we returned satisfying my nearly compulsive conviction that it is always better to unpack completely immediately upon arriving home. And then, of course, I just had to edit a few photos for the blog, right? After quite a good night's sleep, I woke feeling refreshed but soon found the spin of the washing machine, the baby who was hungry, the toddler who wanted to read, and the bed that needed to be made were all pressing in on me. By 10am I hadn't eaten breakfast. Jude was ready for a second breakfast...and making it known loudly. David was patting a slightly fussy baby.
The spin got a little out of control when the pancakes were about to burn, Jude suddenly pinched his finger in a drawer, and as I slung open the freezer (don't imagine, dear friend, that I did it loudly and forcefully enough to let my frustration at the situation to be made known:), my precious containers of frozen meat went flying to the floor, crashing beef and shattered asian tupperware all over the marble.
At that point, I had a full blown fit. The same kind of fit I'd been talking to my 2 year old about earlier that morning.
There were tears and some unintelligible remarks. I sat down in a heap and started to point my finger. The problem was, it was my sin, not any one else's. And I knew that it would be unjust to view it any other way. I could've asked my sweet hubs 2 hours earlier to watch those boys while I made a pancake. In fact, I'm pretty sure he offered to make me one when I woke up. Tears from a pinched finger are not a sin. And those tupperware were caught off guard when I flung that door open in anger. It was me. I was responsible for the fit, not anyone or anything else in the situation.
Upon that realization, my mind turned toward all of the reasons why I am an unfit wife and mother, why someone else could surely do my job much better than I do it. There were more tears and more unintelligible remarks. I was assuring myself and God that the best route would be to hand it all over to a more capable person. Surely someone else could do a better job, handle all this without falling apart. But I could not then forget the good news.
The failure of my very daily interactions, a beef-tossing, tearful fit of anger, was there to remind me of the gospel. Galatians 5. Those who do not walk by the Spirit...they're known by all sorts of immorality and sin. 'Fits of anger' are in the list. But just after that depressing and convicting list is another list. The fruit of the Spirit. Patience and love. Joy and peace. Faithfulness and self-control. Kindness and gentleness. The gift, the comfort that Christ left to his followers when he ascended to heaven...the Spirit, the Helper....it is part of my inheritance in Christ. The gospel gives it to me.
And I don't get the inheritance because I am a perfect wife and mom. I'm not. And God knows it. He wrote the story. He knows my part, full of fits and failings. He wrote the other part too. Jesus, full of grace and truth, tempted in every way and yet without sin. God's only Son, our sin to bear. The petty daily sins, the grotesque and heinous sins, and those unseen pride-filled sins. Good news gospel on every page.
Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.