We were having fun!! The big boys were happily chatting in the back of the van, and admiring their new movies. They were laughing and teasing me because I was wrong, and they were right! It was one of those moments when you thoroughly enjoy being a mom.
We had taken a trip to Goodwill, and before walking in, my middle child had declared he was going to get him a Scooby Doo movie. Being the great mom I am, I had gently warned him that we weren’t going to find any Scooby Doo movies. We began digging through all the goodies Goodwill can offer, and then I heard, “Mom!!! Mom!!! Look what I found!”
You will never guess what was staring me in the face as I turned around.
That’s right. A Scooby Doo movie was being shoved into my face with all the enthusiasm a three year old possesses.
And my three year can have a lot of enthusiasm.
As we climbed back into the van, both boys were so excited about their finds.
My middle boy kept repeating, “Mommy you were wrong, and we were right!!”
Then he would giggle, and begin describing the pictures on the movie and making predictions about what was going to happen in the movie.
Though I was thoroughly enjoying this back and forth banter, I had my eye on the clock. We had a few more errands to run and it was getting close to dinner time. My sweet little children, especially the twins, can magically turn into not so sweet little angels when dinner time is postponed.
Traffic was getting bad and I sat waiting impatiently at a light for the second time. I was finally at the front of the line, and I was more than ready for a green signal. The cross walk signals were counting down the seconds left to cross, and I begin to see that the traffic was beginning to block my path. Then right as my light turned green, a lady in an SUV pulled into the middle of the intersection and was forced to stop due to the traffic. She chatted on her phone, seemingly completely on aware that her light was red, and she was blocking the path of numerous cars.
At this point I was pretty frustrated. We have been working on Ephesians 4:29, but I still through my hands up and yelled, “Come on!!”
Of course at that point I had to explain to my two curious boys what was going on, and the fun banter we were having stopped as they also got frustrated at the car blocking our path.
I didn’t think any more about this incident until that night as I was reading “The Insanity of God” by Nik Ripkin. In his book he told a story that got my attention.
He and his team of missionaries were passing out food in the 1990’s in the warm torn Somali. One of his team members had traveled to this dangerous, hot land with his own money, using three months of his own vacation time.
While handing out food on an extremely hot day, a little old lady became frustrated at the quality of food the United Nations was providing her. She began yelling at this man who had already given so much to help her and her people. Despite her angry words, his reaction was to gently smile at her. Pipkin continues his story by saying this only made her angrier. She eventually grabbed the food she was given and threw it into this smiling man’s face.
His reaction was to begin singing Elvis Presley’s song “You ain’t nothing but a hound dog”. The old lady eventually stomped off leaving behind grateful missionaries and soldiers. What could have become a day filled with violence, was diffused by a smile and a song.
This man was hot, tired, probably hungry, and had already sacrificed a lot. Yet when faced with an ungrateful woman, was able to respond with Christ’s love.
Ripkin wrote, “When I finally had time to consider what had happened in those few moments, I concluded that I had observed on of the most impressive demonstrations of Jesus’ love that I had ever seen. A kind, gentle godly example of humility and humanity had instantly defused a situation so volatile that it could have turned deadly within seconds. Bubba had done that simply by following the seemingly insane teaching of Jesus who and instructed His followers to “love your enemies.” Bubba had met angry hostility with a simple smile, and a very unlikely hymn.”
How convicting is that??
I allowed having to wait a little longer at the light to frustrate me, and damper the happy mood in the van.
Unfortunately that is not the only place, I knew I could use to show the love of Jesus more in my reactions.
How about when life isn’t perfect in my marriage?
Or when my little angels will not stop whinnying or crying?
When I’m tired or hungry and little things are just plain annoying me?
How about the coworker that drives us crazy?
Or those times when strangers are only thinking of themselves and causing all those around to be inconvenienced?
So today I’m going to focus and pray about responding to life’s little difficulties with the love of Jesus. Will you join me??
“We’ve Got This” with the love of Jesus filling our hearts!!!!
Want to read more of Nik Ripkin’s journey in Somali? Get “The Insanity of God” here.
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