When the Lord was handing out the gentleness gene in July of 1969, I forgot to stand in that line. Lots of people who were being fashioned at the same time as me got the gentleness gene.
Some people stood in line twice and got a double dose.
Me? Not so much.
Now, I can have moments of gentleness. I can perform acts of gentleness. But, gentleness doesn’t ooze from the core of who I am. This is especially true if I get stressed OR if I get sleepy . I need a sign to hang on my bedroom door that warns my people of something once the clock strikes 8:30 pm.
“Please note, the Holy Spirit has temporarily left my body to go help out a sister half way around the world who is just now waking up. Enter at your own risk.”
Now, I know that is some terrible theology. But, I’m being honest ya’ll. What little threads of gentleness I do have are not evident past 8:30 pm. Not. At. All.
And then there’s the thing that happens when I get stressed. Normally, I can pull off a little gentleness throughout the day- but throw in some stressful situation where too much is coming at me too quickly and mercy lou. I get task oriented and start talking in a real staccato like cadence to my people because I want the stuff around the house done. right. now. not. in. 10. minutes. because. now. means. now.
Then a friend will call. Suddenly, my voice is as smooth as butter and my conversation soft as cotton.
I don’t want this to be how my kids remember me.
I don’t want this to be how I remember me in this season of life.
So, this verse that has been coming to mind over and over and over about letting my gentleness be evident to ALL- is quite appropriate even if it does step on my toes a bit. So, here’s a little sermon I’ve been preaching to myself:
Let YOUR gentleness be evident to all. The “your” part means I do have some. I didn’t miss standing in that line and my wildfire personality isn’t the exception. I am capable of displaying God’s gentleness because the Holy Spirit is in me. It’s in me when I feel all chipper at 8:30 am and it’s in me when I feel grumpy at 8:30 pm. It’s in me when I feel calm. It’s in me when I feel stressed. Gentleness is in ME!
I just have to learn to reclaim the gentleness that is rightfully mine. And I can reclaim it by practicing the one word that appears right before Phil. 4:5… Rejoice. The more my heart is parked in a place of thanksgiving and rejoicing the less room I have for grumpiness.
My kids are driving me crazy? At least they are healthy enough to have that kind of energy.
My laundry is piled to the ceiling? Every stitch of clothing is evidence of life in my home.
My husband isn’t all skippy romantic about the two of us shopping together? In the grand scheme of life, so what.
I feel unorganized and behind and late on everything… Scale back, let unrealistic expectations go, and savor some happy moments today.
And the more I rejoice, the more I keep things in perspective. The more perspective I have the more gentle I become.
Even at 8:30 pm.