Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Schedules and Sin

There's the saying that you can't control interruptions to your schedule. I would modify that to add: you can make the perfect schedule, but you can't control the sin. What I mean is, as a full-time mom with children at home, you're bound to encounter lots of sin during the day. Chalk it up to strong-willed children, disobedience, overtiredness, hunger, sibling rivalry and whatever else causes bumps along the way in the course of a day. While rough moments can indeed be chalked up to any and all of those issues, for the sake of keeping it short and sweet, I'll just call it sin.

It seems as though our sin, our children's sin, is more noticeable when we're trying to operate on a schedule. In the evening, we can create what looks like, on paper, to be the perfect schedule for the coming day. We imagine the day running smoothly, peacefully, joyfully.

And then our feet hit the floor in the morning. We're off and running, and so is the sin. Maybe it's the squabble over who sits where at breakfast that escalates to pinching, hitting, or biting. Maybe it's who-took-whose toy and won't give it back. Maybe it's the mean things one said to another. Maybe it's the failure to obey promptly. Perhaps it's all of those and more. We see the sin. It tangles up our perfectly planned schedule. It throws us off-course.

While we can't anticipate what kind of behavior our children (or others in our lives) will display during our "planned" day, we can control how we personally respond when confronted with the sometimes ugly realities of imperfect people. We can choose to stay in the Spirit, and remain patient and calm, lovingly guiding and directing our children and those who come our way. Or we can give in to the frustration and lose our cool completely. (Please don't think that just because I'm writing this, I epitomize the former).

How do we remain in the Spirit of Christ? By His divine grace, which we pray for. But also, the Bible says to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12). There is a work on our part, aided by the Holy Spirit, "for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." (Phil. 2:13). I reflected today on the fact that we are to resist sin. As moms, I think this means we are to resist giving into blowing our tops. Resist.

"Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood" [as Jesus did]. (Hebrews 12:4).

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." (1 Peter 5:10, bold mine).

"And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience..." (Col. 1: 10-11, bold mine).

Here's to planning tomorrow's schedule (reminding myself that it will not be as pretty in real life as it looks on paper)! Praying for great endurance and patience, and the grace and strength to resist giving into sin.

Related post: A Day With No Sin

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