So… I was helping to get my wife up and ready for the day this morning and had to stop and laugh a couple of times in the process! First as I was attempting to put a sweater on her, she slid her left hand along her waist and grabbed hold of the zipper and wouldn’t let go. I was trying to pull the bottom of her sweater out and along her back so that I could comfortably place her arm in the sleeve and couldn’t figure out what was stopping my progress. When I finally discovered her hidden hand hold, I couldn’t help but joke with her. Knowing her sparkling and mischievous behavior makes me think that she does some of these antics on purpose!
Then a few moments later as I was working at pulling up a pair of jogging pants on her she gently ran one of her hands across my forehead and proceeded to cover my left eye. That action made me laugh once more but also prompted me to quickly remove my glasses and toss them on the bed, out of harm’s way!
So there I am, on my knees before my wife, my hands entangled in a pair of jogging pants around her feet and a lovely hand probing the recesses of my eyes. To make matters even worse, I had turned up the heat for her benefit and while she was all comfy and warm, I was sweating quite profusely with all the close contact between us. So what do ya do… get angry, yank her hand away and say a few things that I would later regret?
NO WAY… I guess that is a course of action that is just not a part of my normal behavior… Thank God! My Dad once told me as I was helping Piper down the steps of their house a year or so before my folks moved on to heaven, that I was very patient with her. I imagine that I take after him with that trait!
I was thinking yesterday evening as I was cleaning up the garage where I had spent most of the afternoon setting up my new work bench and hanging peg board, that I was quite pooped but still had to clean up and then cook dinner for Piper and I. At that instant I had the opportunity to give into self-pity or give the glory to God… So I wisely choose the latter. Not because I am a super guy… but because it was the right and ONLY thing I could do that would best benefit my wife and I at that particular moment.
In that instant I reflected on the point at hand and stated out loud that “I am not on center-stage here! My job is to take care of Piper and seek the Lord’s assistance in order to do the best that I can do for her benefit!” And you know… when I took the focus off of me and got it back on Piper... as filtered through the power and praise of Papa God, I suddenly was NOT thinking about being tired, but had a surge of energy and a focus to move on to the next assignment for the evening.
Philippians 2:4 tells us: “Don’t be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others.” That verse has become paramount in my life over the last six years! I have also come to depend on others who see us and ministry to my wife in the same light. On the other hand, I have likewise been disappointed by those who continually have placed themselves on the center stage and while in the spotlight, have been unable to get passed themselves in order reach out to her.
My satisfaction at the end of the day is in knowing that I have done all that I can to care for and make life better for my lovely bride. I think that this is one of the greatest attributes of marriage. I can’t imagine a higher and more enjoyable goal than growing with your spouse through the years and doing the things that please and bless her throughout the changes that we go through both individually as well as together.
Piper’s little smile of recognition as I labored at the stove last night made everything I do worth ALL the effort! I like the idea of NOT being on center stage! I like the idea of having the spotlight shining on my wife and hearing from the Lord over my spiritual headset as He gives me directions from the curtains to the side of the stage!
That is probably why I always enjoyed writing and directing plays over the years rather than acting in them! Have you ever thought about where you stand in the play of your life? Do you enjoy being under the spotlight on center stage… or following instruction and giving assistance from the curtains off to the side, doing your best in order to enhance the performance of those on the platform?
What do you think Jesus would do? Have a great weekend, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “What or Who on center stage am I expecting to help today?”