By: Vivian Wilson
This week the “selfish me” showed her ugly side again. My plan (yes I had another one) was to go to Galveston for a week alone.
I told Mom I would be gone but would be in town Tuesday and Wednesday, if she needed anything. I could see the sadness on her face and I heard the longing in her voice. She hasn’t been on vacation in years.
So, motivated by guilt, grudgingly, I told her I would take her with me, but I would have to bring her home on Monday evening. I didn’t want to take her, but guilt made me do it.
We checked into the condo on Saturday, and then I drove from Galveston to Marble Falls for my sister’s bridal shower on Sunday, leaving Mom alone (in Galveston) all day. She didn’t mind because she was happy to be on vacation.
During the five hour drive back to the condo from the bridal shower, I felt another kind of “guilt”. It was really conviction by the Holy Spirit.
My attitude needed to change. I was resentful. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a switch that controls my emotions. I can’t turn them on and off.
I can, however, control my thinking.
So I began to pray. I asked God to change my attitude.
I engaged my mind and set it on things above.
I thought about all the good things with which God has blessed me.
I thanked Him for the opportunity to spend a week at the beach, for the opportunity to bless my mom, and for so many other things.
Monday morning, as I drank my coffee and spent time in God’s Word, my heart was at peace. Mom woke up with a smile on her
face. She hadn’t slept so well in months. I carried her coffee for her as we walked out to the balcony. (We have TWO balconies!)
When we were outside, she took a deep breath of fresh air, and with a huge smile on her face, she thanked me for taking her on vacation.
My heart melted. I found myself asking her if she would like to stay all week with me. I felt many emotions in that moment. It gave me pure joy to be able to make her feel happy and special. I felt God’s mercy and forgiveness for my sinful attitude. I felt His grace and love because I knew I didn’t deserve anything but condemnation from a human perspective.
And I felt a deep sense of gratitude for all of the above.
Colossians 3:1-17 came to mind. Actually what came to mind were the first two verses. The last fifteen explain them.
Because of where I am positionally in Christ, my daily life should reflect that I am a child of God through my actions.
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ,
set your hearts on things above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on things above,
not on earthly things.”
Others see what I do, but that isn’t always a reflection of what I am thinking and feeling. You might have said, “Oh, isn’t she sweet and thoughtful? She’s the best daughter because she’s taking her mother with her to Galveston with her.”
In reality, my motive was wrong. It was guilt and not love. My thoughts were totally self-centered. I wasn’t thinking about Mom, I was thinking about me.
My heart and mind were set on self. But what I must remember is that I have taken off the old self and put on the new self.
I am thankful that God didn’t waste any time in convicting me of my sin. Now I will enjoy this time with Mom and not waste a precious opportunity to love and bless her and be blessed by her.
I am not pursuing, nor do I even have an interest in gaining recognition for being the “best daughter” to Mom. What I am looking
forward to, is hearing my Heavenly Father say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
I was not a good and faithful servant Friday and Saturday.But God’s marvelous grace offers me a second chance. I’m pretty sure that there is at least one of you, who like me, needs to redress. (For the rest of you, your time will come).
God tells us in Colossians 3:12-17, what we are to put on:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.
And be thankful. …..And whatever you do, whether in
word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
A work in progress,