the gift of grace

Posted: September 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

Sometimes I know how to treat others because it makes good sense, or reads as common courtesy or decency, or because I get Holy Spirit revelation or just a scriptural insight, or because I’ve picked up a bit of wisdom from a self-help book or some wise blogger along the way or my mom.  We learn how to treat each other by a lot of different teachers, don’t we?

 

And then there are the times when the learning really settles into me in a deeper way, because I learn by the example of how another has treated me.  Such is the case quite frequently these days, as I am the consistent target of my husband’s great grace, patience, mercy, and encouragement.  The latest case in point:  the navigation of our running schedule. 

 

While I can be pretty flexible and open to change in a lot of areas of life, when it comes to my running, that flexibility goes out the window.  I like to run the way I like to run.

 

·         I like to run first thing in the morning, on an empty or mostly empty stomach.

·         I like to run before breakfast.

·         I like to run before the sun rises.

·         I like to run in darkness with no added light.

·         I like to run in absolute silence, or as near as I can get to that.

·         I like to run outdoors, not indoors, and never, ever on a treadmill.

·         I like to run out of the way of traffic, unhindered by stoplights or hard-to-cross corners.

·         I like to run on roads, not sidewalks (which make me fall down).

·         I like to run in very specific clothing and certain shoes. 

·         I like to run in 25 to 50 degree weather.

 

Yeah, you might say I’m a bit of a high-maintenance princess when it comes to running.  I really, really want it to be just exactly as I want it to be. 

 

So our recent decision to move our run time from early morning to after work has been a hard one for me.  Realistically, it is the best possible solution to get us around his work schedule.  But that doesn’t keep my, “I want, I want, I want,” from raising its ugly head.  Doesn’t keep me from hating the sunshine, the warmth, the traffic, the noise, the heaviness of my not-empty belly that has acted as a chair jockey all day at work, and my resentment at how much the others traversing the roads probably wish I would stay on the sidewalk. 

 

Included on the long list of things that I love and appreciate about my husband is this:  he lets me work through my bad attitude without trying to interfere or correct me.  He doesn’t chide me to change my thoughts – apparently, he trusts that I will get there.  He doesn’t try to shame me for speaking my frustration.  He doesn’t try to cajole me into admitting that this way is better.  He doesn’t get condescending or irritable at my failure to instantly, cheerfully adapt. 

 

He just smiles and runs and lets me vent and loves me just the same as if I were doing this gracefully.  That is an amazing gift.  I feel respected by his apparent confidence in my ability to work it out without being bossed around to get there.  He is saving me from the temptation of having someone to fight against, rather than just the situation and my attitude.  Because he is “on my side” at all times, there is this enormous space of safety and grace in which I may fight my little inward battle until I am ready to surrender what I think should be to what actually IS.

 

He inspires me and makes me want to reconsider my temptation to be corrective with others who might be struggling.  He helps me to know that when I don’t lecture people, I am not failing to be diligent in helping them.  Maybe they need me to trust that they will do better – that they are fighting a good fight, and that they already have what they need to win.

 

I’d like to be as encouraging to other strugglers as my G is to me – to create that safe, grace-filled place for those around me to work out the things that plague them.

 

For you who are keeping track, this was the blog I wrote YESTERDAY.  The one I wrote the day before is over at the naked place

Now, at 8-minutes-past-bedtime, I gotta figure out TODAY’s blog before I can sleep…

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