So it’s New Year’s Day, and I’m trying to build a rink in the front yard for Sam, my hockey-crazy son. At the same time, I’ve been reading a deeply challenging book on humility and dying to self, by Andrew Murray. It’s a great juxtaposition.
On Sunday afternoon, to build the base for the rink, I made the first cut of the front lawn with my snowblower — pushing through up to three feet of snow that had been through a freeze-thaw cycle several times. If you’ve never cut through snow like that before, it’s kind of like pushing your snowblower through concrete or granite. Took me an hour to cut a single 60 foot path. My personal frustration window was so high, I’m glad no one was around to let me tell them what I was thinking….
Tonight, I went out and cleared the would-be rink again (it snowed today) and was ready for the first flood. The hoses were inside, warm and ready to hook up. After an hour of prep, I hooked the hose up only to discover that my outside tap was busted. The faucet handle had stripped. I went inside to hook it up to the washing machine tap when Toni told me not to flood the house. Undaunted, I went back outside and thought I would make the outside tap work. Sure enough, I managed to turn it on. Except it got stuck on, flooding my driveway and sidewalk with me unable to shut it off. After several minutes, I finally managed to turn it off. It will stay off. Got to get to Home Depot tomorrow to get another 100′ of hose to run off the backyard tap.
Then I got back inside, I learned the video sync for a video blog I spent some time recording earlier today for the Connexus blog is way off. Plus I read some more just-published-and-not-nice stuff about me in the national magazine of
my former denomination. So it seems just about all I tried to do today failed or got bunged up.
Normally this drives me into a funk. Bad day. Go to bed. Try again tomorrow. But that didn’t happen today. The demon at work here is pride. And God is working hard on my pride. I need Him to. Earlier today, I read Andrew Murray’s comments:
"Accept every humiliation. Look upon every fellow man who vexes you as a means of grace to humble you. Use every opportunity of humbling yourself before your fellow men as a help to abide humbly before God."
This has been a long battle for me over many years, but I can honestly say that today, I found grace in frustration, joy in Jesus in the face of criticism, and kindness when my best efforts failed. I brought it all to Jesus and asked Him to teach me. And while He was teaching me, He gave me joy. Thank you for that gift.
Not a bad way to start the New Year at all. How about you? How did your day go? And have you thought about truly bringing your frustrations to Jesus, asking Him to strip you of every vestige of pride, and let Him be your all? I can honestly say I am amazed at how it changed my temperament today.