“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)
It was one of those days. Laundry was on the go. Bread for the market was on the go. Projects with the girls were on the go. The dogs were going crazy outside, barking at who knows what. The younger child was throwing a hissy fit again, because she didn’t get her own way … again. The older one decided to play in the dishwater, and half of it ended up all over the floor. And the batch of bread in the oven decided to split across the tops. But I kept my cool. I was walking in the Spirit … uh huh, uh huh!
My daughter arrived home a bit early as she knew that I was ordering and picking up lunch to take over and enjoy with a friend who was shut-in due to a recent surgery. This is good, I thought, as I grabbed my winter coat and my basket of laundry and headed out the door with my youngest pup, Simon, who obediently followed me through the snow to the truck. But as I bent down to pick him up, he decided, in typical dachshund fashion, to take off at a run around the property. I called him, and he turned and ran back, only to spurt away at the last minute in the opposite direction. So much for keeping my cool. My temper started to heat up.
When he finally decided to come, he got a good reprimand before being thrust into the front seat. Jumping in beside him, I started to back the truck up, so that I could turn it around and head out. The truck had other ideas, however, and started to slide down the hill on the ice and kept sliding right back into the snowbank. I wasn’t going anywhere. The tires would not grip, even though I was driving a four-wheel drive. And this is when I lost it. Banging the steering wheel with both palms, I let loose, yelling and hollering that I had simply had enough frustrations for today, and it was only noon hour.
At this point, my daughter, seeing my dilemma, came out of the house, walking toward the truck. As she did so, the thought entered my mind to check the four-wheel drive option. When I did, I saw that I was in two-wheel and not four-wheel drive the way that I always leave it for the winter.
The day before, my daughter had been kind enough to go into Whitehorse, Yukon, with her husband and pick up my truck from the dealership where it had been for a maintenance check. Rolling down the window, I yelled at her, “Did you put the truck into two-wheel drive? “No, I didn’t,” she yelled back. “Why are you yelling at me?” With this, she turned around and walked back into the house. Now in four-wheel drive, I easily drove out of the snowbank and down the driveway.
Obviously, the mechanic had changed from four- to two-wheel drive as he had been inspecting the truck, and I had not bothered to check which drive I was in before I started hollering.
This humbling experience brought to mind today’s verse and how important it is to keep in step with the Spirit, no matter how frustrating our situations and days may be. For when we do so, we don’t hurt others around us, embarrass ourselves, or set a bad example for any who may be listening or watching.
So today, may we each seek to keep partaking of the fruit of the Holy Spirit by putting aside our own frustrations, no matter how many they may be, and allowing God to keep us driving in spiritual four-wheel drive instead of human two-wheel drive, which always leaves us spinning our wheels.
By the way, just so you know, I was quick to apologize to my daughter for my display of temper towards her.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your Holy Spirit and for the wonderful fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that are ours for the taking when we choose to match our footsteps with Yours, instead of going our own way. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Lynne Phipps <firstname.lastname@example.org>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission