God has such a sense of humor when we try to ignore the lessons He is trying to teach us.Being self-centered and selfish has always been am issue for me. While I thought it was getting better, or that I was through Christ overcoming this sin of the flesh, once again - WAKE UP CALL BY GOD!!!
The Tuesday before Christmas, I was driving to work listening to K-Love, lost in my own thoughts, selfish "poor me" thoughts. I was concerned about getting a check in the mail that day, to "generously" give to my kids so they could go buy presents for me. See I had taken them the Saturday before to pick up presents for everyone else on their list. As we shopped Saturday, I made a point to tell the kids exactly what I wanted, showing them as we shopped for others. Lots of options were provided. I was thinking that if the check didn't come, Christmas was not going to be good for me and I was thinking about what presents I was going to get - completely selfish and self-centered.
Then I get into Joplin and started to listen to the radio again, because I can't be lost in my own thought. This call comes through the broadcast, a mother talking to the DJ about a conversation with her four year old about the true meaning of Christmas. The mother had told the child that Jesus is the reason that we receive gift. The child asked about the children who do not get presents. The mother used that opportunity to talk about giving and how God uses people to give the love of Jesus in tangible ways to other. Then the four year old told his mother that he wants to give all his gifts to kids who don't get one because he wants to make sure kids know the love of Jesus and what Christmas is really about - OKAY reality check by radio that morning. If a four year old can get it, there is no reason that I should be so selfish, when Christmas is really about Jesus. So I repent on the walk into work, and go about my day. So the check comes, as scheduled. Then the kids go shopping.
Fast-forward to Wednesday night. Laurin comes to get me and is not very good at keeping a secret. She starts dropping hints and then finally just came out and told me what she got me - something that was on the list of DO NOT BUY THIS for me, I do not want it. Then she tells me what Billie Jo wanted to get me, which again was on my DO NOT BUY THIS for me list, which Laurin had told Billie Jo. That started my "poor me" temper tantrum. Then Tim calls and was upset Laurin had not answered his call. He was texting her about my Christmas, and was not having any luck find the things I requested at Wal-Mart and did not want to have to drive an hour to a location where he could get it. Not sure what the conversation was between the two, but it was about what I wanted - which I had also told him and showed him and provided a written list. This just fueled my flame and made me continue my what about what I want and how no one listens to me. Then Tim calls me about my plans for Wednesday evening and again it is clear that he has not listened to anything I said. So I spent the hour drive home throwing a little fit, came home and threw a little bit more. Finally I decided to quit my pity party, but still had a little resentment about it.
At night I do my Bible reading, and Had been working on I John. I was in chapter 4. I was tired, and the lights were off, so I wanted to just use my cell phone, I have the entire Bible available. I clicked on The book I John and then chapter 4. Oddly, that is not what came up. Instead it was "Since Jesus went through everything you're going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you'll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want. " I Peter 4:1-2 I stopped reading after the 2nd verse and just told God I was sorry, and laughed at his sense of humor.