The 1 Corinthians Challenge
Perhaps the best challenge I ever accepted at church was a mad-libs style exercise proposed by our pastor.
"Put your name in place of the word 'love' in these verses and see how you're doing," Pastor Scott instructed.
The verses he was referring to, of course, were found in 1 Corinthians 13, the Bible's "love chapter", where Paul lays out the Christian-love manifesto. No problem, I thought. I love Jesus. I should be able to nail this!
1 Corinthians 13:4 - Love is patient. Replacement challenge: Sarah is patient. I was only one verse into the test and had smacked into a brick wall.
Patience - whose brethren are known as gentleness, forbearance, and long suffering - was not at the top of my personality profile. In fact, earlier in the week, I may have been guilty of an eye-rolling incident at our small-town post office. Whatever.
And yes...in the 90's, I fell into Washington, DC driving a bit too easily when I relocated to the District of Columbia and discovered the power of the horn. My driver's training instructor taught that this handy little tool was a universal safety feature; I found it a deliciously effective communication device.
I am irritated by people who walk too slow, talk too much, and pay for their groceries with a personal check. I elbowed my husband in the ribs last night (hard) for committing the cardinal sin of snoring.
My name is Sarah and I have a patience problem.
The reason for impatience is simple. This ugly little quality has the ego of a two-year old with the same measure of self control.
In honor of Valentine's Day and in the spirit of selfless love, I'm taking on the 1 Corinthians challenge again, starting with patience.
I'm going to...
invite the Holy Spirit in.
take deep breaths.
embrace the uncomfortable.
meditate on my blessings.
smile instead of griping.
I'm going to wear the quiet side of love that says "You before me".
Patience is a virtue. Will you try it on with me?