Each weekday my son leaves for school and then I scurry to get myself out the door for work. Picture book bags and a purse slung over my shoulders while balancing a cup of coffee and keys in my hands. On one morning, recently,
My son called.
Mom, I forgot my backpack. Can you bring it to school?
Me: Can you come home and get it?
Him: School starts in five minutes.
I responded poorly.
I asked a series of questions. I asked irritably, “Why wasn’t it in your car?” I complained, “I am on my way out the door.” I gave in reluctantly, “Okay. [pause] I will bring it right now.”
On my one mile trip to school, a red light provided the pause I needed to reflect on my verbal responses to my son compared to the surrendered heart I aim to offer God each morning. I saw the problem and said to God,
Well God, I tell you my heart is surrendered to you, but mouth this morning has revealed the truth. The day has not been surrendered to you. Otherwise, I would not have responded that way I did.
Father, forgive me.
With my HEART, I now tell You the day is yours. You may mess my schedule up. You may do whatever. Really. I won’t get upset next time when faced with the schedule You decide for me.
I pulled up to my son waiting for me in the school parking lot. As I passed the backpack through the window, I asked his forgiveness, “I am sorry for my irritable response. Do you forgive me?” He said, “Yes,” like he always does. I love him so!
On the way home I did some thinking. Indicator lights on our dashboard let us know there is an issue with our car — engine, oil, door open, low gas, etc. Negative emotions let us know there is an issue with our heart — control, bitterness, anger, jealousy, grief, loneliness, etc.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
Deal with issues quickly
If we pay attention, things don’t have to build up. In my short trip to and from school, I was able to confess my sin to God, ask for forgiveness from my son, and pull back into the driveway in right relationship with the Lord again.
Does it take work?
Yes, it does, but living like this is far less work than letting things build up until we blow up, destroying relationships. We get to decide between the two.
Picture Explanation: Signs of spring are starting to appear. Frost and bowls of hot soup are transitioning to blooms and fresh fruit. May our hearts be melting into spring as well.
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