What's wrong with me? When I'm sick I get grumpy and
irritable. When I'm criticised I become defensive. When
people interrupt me I become impatient. I get angry at
injustice. Waiting in lines, and bureaucratic runarounds
make me feel I'm wasting my life.
I've had a few good days. Days when I caught up on the
ironing, my eczema cleared up, I managed to write a few
letters, got top marks on an assignment, and finished with
an enjoyable game of Scrabble.
I try to pray on the bad days, but my prayers don't get
anywhere. On good days I feel aglow with the presence of
God. Why can't I have more good days?
But I've been thinking that maybe my 'good' days are the
'blah' ones spiritually... holidays from the business of
growing in love. Maybe in God's record book points are only
scored on the horrible days when nothing seems to go right.
Sure, I lost my temper, but I lasted 15 seconds longer than
the previous time, and thus got 15 points overall. Whereas I
got nothing for the day when everything went right. It was just
a rest between battles.
James 1:2-3 says, "Rejoice when you fall into various
temptations, knowing that trials teach patience."
It's not that I should go looking for battles. Even the Lord's
prayer says I should pray that I not be put to the test
spiritually. The good days are something to be thankful for.
Without them, I would never make it. And I Corinthians 10:13
says one way to win battles is to run away from them.
But I can't run from all of them. And when I find myself in the
middle of a test I cannot escape from, it pays to remember
that this is a great opportunity to brush up on discipline,
grow in patience, expand my ability to love. And the lessons I
learn in the middle of these battles may count for all eternity.
On the test days I find out just how unspiritual I am; but
that's good for my pride too. The main thing is to do a little
better than last time. If I do, perhaps God will see it and note
But I'm probably boring you with all this, since this is my
special problem. Or is it?
Dave McKay is a co-founder of a Christian community.