Friday, August 28, 2009

Branded by Strength and Dignity

This year I have prayed for my husband and me to live beyond reproach, and not be mastered by anything of this world. It is a big prayer. I have found that God honors it. It is a prayer that has moved us through situations, which could have made us stumble during certain events in our marriage.

I am adding this verse from Thessalonians to my prayer, “…to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you,” (1 Thessalonians 4:11, NRSV). I am going to start praying that we will live quietly, minding our own beeswax, and being diligent to complete our kingdom work.

I have really been thinking about the living quietly part. What does it mean to live quietly? I am certain that when I Lost it Over the Dishwasher, I did not reflect quiet living.

I see the events of yesterday and today, as a second chance for that recent dishwasher post. I want to live quietly.

We have had a friend of ours doing some work at our house. It is so great to have talented friends. We were talking as he was going home to wife and baby, and I noticed that the house was getting a little warm.

Because of where I live, temperature is a primary factor in daily life. It is just hot here. There is no other way to put it. So, when it is 110+, and your house is getting warm, you start to ask yourself, “Why do I not believe in the expense of air conditioner maintenance?”

It was kind of like camp last night, as the house crept up the Fahrenheit scale. My husband grilled outside so we did not add degrees to our experience, only to his experience.

I called our new home warranty place and made the claim last night. This morning they told me that you are not allowed to make a claim in the first 30 days of your policy…fyi. So, I called the first person who could come out. I am expecting him any minute.

It was a warm night.

So, this morning we got up and walked directly to the coffee pot, as usual. We find that this moment can sort out all sorts of difficulties. Being awakened by our choice stimulus has a ritualistic bonding quality. One of us gets water, the other gets coffee. It wreaks of team work…marriage coffee.

So, we hit, “brew”, “on”…nothing.

The one thing to look forward to was gone. I can honestly say that my bible is a little blurry before my first cup, so it might have spiritual benefits. What would we do? We were facing spiritual crisis. We stood staring at the machine, like it was just being mean. We kept pushing “on”, as if one more time and we would bring it over to the light.

I think it hates us.

After my husband left for work, I was walking down the hall thinking of this recent string of events, all of them terribly interesting. I looked down to the floor counting the tumble weeds of dog hair that never cease to amaze me. I suddenly noticed that my pants were inside out. Well, that was it; I had no choice…hysterical laughter.

I realized then, that a crucial part of this living quietly is found in Proverbs 31. Verse 25 says, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.”

Sometimes when we face a string of “interestings”, we mark a day in history like my dishwasher day; but, sometimes, we realize that because it is a string, there could be one more…or two. Better get out the right clothes, branded by Strength and Dignity (What a great branding idea! And, no you cannot have it.).

So, we can get hot, and we can have a hateful coffee machine, we can even wear our clothes inside out, but are we doing it loudly or quietly? Do we have on the right clothes?

Are you facing a string of “interestings”? How are you doing it?

My prayer for you today, and for myself, 2 Thessalonians 3:5, NRSV, “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.” I think that we can get to strength and dignity from this.

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