Monday, November 27, 2006

"I'll Show Them!"

Sometimes God gets on my nerves.

Ok, calm down. Let me explain.

As I told you, Saturday was our anniversary, and well, we absolutely loved watching Deja Vu. It was awesome. Cool. Denzel (Tom's favorite actor) was at his incredible best. We even watched another movie after going out for dessert and strolling through Home Depot, and when we got home, Naomi had left an amazing lemon jello cake for us. A perfect day.

Then came Sunday.

There we were, Tom and I, that cute couple who rarely fights anymore, standing in line at the supermarket, having an argument in heated whispers. One of those which goes a little like:

"You shut-up!"
"Hey! We don't say that in our family."
"Well, you shut-up anyway."
"No, you shut-up!"

(Blah, blah, blah.)

We continued the fight on the way home in the car, and when we pulled into the driveway and Tom said that I was like the woman who lives across the street, I gasped and saw red. "You take that back!" I said.

"No, I won't. She nags her husband every time they're out in their yard and you are nagging me to death."

Oooooo... I was fuming. I stomped upstairs and only when I calmed down (took awhile) did I realize something. Part of the problem (just part) had been that Tom is not yet ready to eat healthy foods on a constant basis. And it came to me that, even in that area, trying to change a person when God has not yet worked on their heart, well, it's pretty much impossible. For any of us to change, God has to prepare our hearts (like preparing soil) and then we have to cooperate with His ideas after that.

So I went downstairs and told Tom that I would no longer nag him about eating right and he could buy any unhealthy, salt-stuffed, heart-clogging food he wanted. In fact, I was going to another supermarket right that minute to get him the things he had wanted in the first supermarket, things I'd talked him out of.

Of course, he then said, "No, don't do that. I don't want anything. I won't eat it."

But I drove there anyway, still, uh, fuming inside (I confess). In fact, I sat inside the car in the parking lot a few minutes and thought, "I'll show him. I'll become like that lady in our town who started walking years ago every single day, no matter how much snow and ice there is, and who now looks like a (scary), obsessed, walking skeleton. I'll start walking like that, too, and I'll get so skinny and then I'll show him!"

(Of course, a little voice in my head said I'd have better luck "showing Tom" by becoming as round as I am tall. That would be easier, knowing me as well as I do." Heh.)

But here's the part where God gets on my nerves. Nowadays, He never lets me get away with that 'I'll show them!' attitude. Even if what I'm aiming to do appears to be a good thing, whether it be losing weight or showing someone that I *am* a giving person when they accuse me of not being one... or determining to clean my house so spotlessly, that neither Tom or Naomi will ever be able to make another little critical remark about it, or... well, you get what I mean, I'm sure.

No, even though years ago I accomplished all sorts of things out of my 'I'll show them!' motivation (it was the way I lived, my fuel, practically), God no longer lets me get away with that. Immediately, He nails me on my wrong motives. Instantly. He tells me that why I'm doing something is just as important as what I am doing and that both matter--both are equally important. Both must stem from love, His 'fuel', and not retaliation or insecurity. Both my motives and what I am doing must come from simple obedience to Him or else my rotten, I'll-show-them motivation will nullify the whole thing.

And even though God is still getting on my nerves about all that, I know He is right.

He is always right.

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