Yesterday was my day at home. I have been forced to schedule one for every week because my schedule has become so crazy.(TOTAL blessing) I try to ask my husband what one thing he would like me to accomplish that day and use it to tie up one of the many projects we need to finish, clean house, do laundry, blog and whatever else I can fit in. Yesterday, this included sitting down with lunch in front of the TV. I came across this show on some cable network called, "The real housewives of Atlanta." The show is filled with exceptionally wealthy women, who aren't even necessarily married, but are living in a house in Atlanta. Anyway, there is this one wife who is married to an NBA player. They have just purchased the estate of their dreams and are in the process of hiring the staff. Personal chef, nanny AND governess (whatever that means), estate manager, personal assistant, gardener, blah blah blah...
So this particular wife is saying how because of her husband's job, during the season he is away from home 6 out of 7 days of the week. And she keeps saying how it's like she's a single mom having to do it all herself. "I mean, if I didn't have this personal chef and I had to make breakfast AND get the kids up for school - they would be late. I just couldn't do it all myself." Golly gee, how DO you manage with your millions of dollars and all your staff and CHILDREN WHO ARE OLD ENOUGH TO DRESS THEMSELVES to do it all without just crumbling for lack of your man help?
As I am sharing my shock and outrage over this ridiculousness with my children (something along the lines of - "Guys! I saw the most outrageous thing on TV today") I was called back to several moments in my recent past when people judged MY situation less important because they held it (and what they believed to be the truth of it) up to THEIR situation and found that their suffering was, "real" suffering and, therefore, mine was not and I should just crawl quietly into a hole where I would stop bothering people who have real problems.
I do agree that there are, in fact, worse problems in this world than I have experienced in my life, and it is right and good to be thankful for what I have and how I have been blessed.
But let me be clear about something - just because I laugh, or smile - or do not tell you the depth of the truth of my situation, does not mean that my suffering is not real. Just because the only time you see me is on Sunday morning when I am praising my Lord, does not mean that I must be able to do that because there is no pain in my life. Just because I don't choose to lay on the ground every minute of every day flogging myself and crying to every passer-by about the struggles I face, does not mean that I do not struggle.
And THAT, my friends, has brought us full circle. Whoops. The truth is, that whatever my beliefs about what can be done with money and wait-staff, I have no idea what this woman goes through and I have no right to say that my life is harder than hers so she should just get over it, strap on her big girl panties and deal. And here is what Paul tells me about that....
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.