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Our New Home
Fall is in the air!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Discerning Love and Loving Discernment

My wife and I drove up to our former neighborhood yesterday for her follow up appointment with her primary doctor.  Each time we got into and out of the car I was visually reminded of a funny little mishap that we experienced last week.  

In truth… at the time, it was neither funny nor little!  If you read my St Patrick’s Day blog on that particular day (March 17 – “Whose Way”) then you’ll recall that I was not having a very good day to begin with!  I was supposed to go back to the Oral Surgeon for the follow up but did not really want to drive for 45 minutes each way only to have the doctor tell me in 5 minutes or less that everything was fine!  But the voices of most people I know who keep telling me that I need to take care of myself kept bouncing around in my head, so I thought I’d “Man Up!” and go anyway… even though I was not happy about it!

Well, like I mentioned in that post last week, Piper was very weak at that point in the morning so it took quite a bit of physical energy on my part to get her ready and out to the car.  Once at the door of the Mustang, I helped her to her feet, turned her and prepared to slide my hand under her and to lift her gently into the seat, only she was not real steady and I had to move fairly quickly so that she wouldn’t miss the seat and end up on the driveway! 
I did manage to get her in the seat and set the seat belt.   

The only problem was that she was sitting at a weird angle and even though I was dealing with a noticeable lack of patience, I did not want her to be uncomfortable during the trip.  So… without much thought I reached for the button on the seat belt but couldn’t get to it because of the little tube pillow I keep in both cars to help support her was in the way.  That’s when the problems began as I grabbed at the pillow and attempted to tug it free… BUT… it wouldn’t budge… so… with the steam beginning to rise from my ears and without any discernment at all I quickly pulled… with all my strength… and you guessed it!

POOF!  The pillow tore in half and Piper and the passenger side of the car were suddenly covered in a mountain of teeny little white foam rubber pellets that seemed to stick to everything!  YIKES!  I could not believe my eyes!  My wife and the cleanest interior of any car in the world was lost under an avalanche of white!  And you know?  I wanted to scream, but for some reason I didn’t!  I quickly assessed the situation, took a look at my wife covered in the sticky white balls and over at Buick in the driveway which was covered in sticky yellow pollen from the Dogwood tree next to it, and I knew that we were not going to make it to the doctor!

Once I got calmed down, I called the doctor’s office and pulled out the vacuum which got clogged within about 2 minutes, overheated and shut off!  But at least I was able to uncover my wife… although I am still finding little white pellets in her hair!  Anyway… to make a LONG story short, after lunch and multiple times of cleaning out the filter on the vacuum, I was able to get most of the pellets out of the car!

The funny part of yesterday’s trip was that the pellets just sort of kept reappearing and repopulating themselves in the car.  Every time I looked around I would find piles of the white stuff in the cab.  And every time we got in or out of the car we had to brush them off of our clothes… and Piper’s hair!  (It was really funny when the trash pickup truck dumped our can on Monday.  It looked like a snow storm was coming from the inside of the truck when he turned the can upside down… and again when the truck drove off!)

Like I said, while it might be funny now… it assuredly wasn’t back then.  If I had taken the time to swallow, take a breath and think about what I was doing back on that day, I am sure that I would have operated with a little discernment and realized that the pillow was caught into the seat belt lock!

I was reading from my new book “Be Joyful” this morning and was captivated by a thought the author expressed about Paul’s prayer addressed to the church in Philippi.  (See: Philippians 1:9-11)  He stated that Paul prayed that the people would have abounding love and discerning love, for Christian love is not blind.  “After all, if our Christian love is what it ought to be, everything else should follow.  The heart and mind (should) work together so that we have discerning love and loving discernment in being able to ‘distinguish the things that differ.’” (Philippians 1:10 NIV)

That really spoke to my heart this morning.  That is the kind of standard operating procedure that I want in my life!  I’ve been on the reciprocal side of words and actions taken without much to any discernment and it still smart at times!  What are your thoughts or experiences with this course of action?  The author concluded his statement on this subject by saying that “The ability to distinguish is a mark of maturity.”

Is that a mark of maturity that you carry with you?  I am making the effort to develop that maturity in me!  How about you?  Have a great day, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “What is the mark of maturity that I am expecting others to see in my daily words and actions?”

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