It was one of those weekends.
I’d gotten behind on things for work. I’d done the inexcusable–losing people in the cracks of my life. I was feeling pressure to get things done. Which made me feel anxious.
Pressure from me–no one else. I work with grace-oriented people. I ask a lot of myself. With high expectations comes high angst with the lack of follow-through. I make me feel guilty rather quickly.
John was leaving on another trip. We were sharing the weekend of watchfulness with my son-in-law’s folks as Heather and Jeremy were gone on a work trip. Five urchins; five different personalities.
I love my daughter’s in-laws. Bill and Sandy are calm and steady. When I’m with them I sense an immediate decompression of my own stuff and clutter. They have that same effect on the kids. Things run smoothly. With purpose.
I drove to the house and saw Bill and Sandy sitting on the porch, with three of the kids engaged in various forms of play. The older two were at referee training.
The scene looked idyllic.
We chatted a bit, catching up, looking at lizard skeletons with the kids. Important things. Then they left.
I felt the calm leave the house with them.
“Can we play on the computer? Video games? Use the iPad? Grandma and Poppy said we could at noon. Isn’t it time? We’ve been outside. All day!”
I looked at the kids. Rarely is such eagerness expressed apart from McFlurries or playing soccer. Technology has them in its back pocket.
When my kids were younger, I’d never have allowed them to play this kind of thing. Wasting time inside on such a beautiful day. Allowing their brains to wither with needless focus on small screens when they could be allowing their imaginations to take flight.
“Sure. You all play while I get lunch.”
I was tired. This wasn’t a hill to die on. I’d pick my battles. Save my energy for bedtime disagreements.
With age, I’ve learned there are fewer and fewer battles worth fighting. Not that there aren’t significant values in restricting video
play for kids and encouraging outdoor activities. Those are true.
When I was younger, everything was a battle. If there’d been a disagreement with the kids, John, folks I worked with, I hunkered down for the fight, standing on the ground of principle and conviction. Not recognizing that much of it was opinion and attitude.
I’ve matured. Some. Conviction is something I won’t compromise on.
In the middle of crazy, advocating for a random principle I’ve no energy to uphold, the better part of valor sometimes is taking a path that leads to peace.
Jesus never compromised on truth. The religious leaders had a hard time with Him. He didn’t hold to manmade rules and traditions that gave the religious elite favor and frowned on those who “sinned”.
They failed to see that we’re all broken and in need of rescuing from our fate.
Jesus savored time with the down and outers. Those untouchable by societal standards. He refused to disregard them.
That wouldn’t be the hill He died on.
If I must engage in a battle?
Truth always trumps opinion.
And relationships matter.