Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Grievances of a Monk and a Momma

I have never gone to sleep with a grievance against anyone. And, as far as I could, I have never let anyone go to sleep with a grievance against me. -Abba Agathon, monk (4th/5th century)

When I first read this quote about a year ago, I thought, "How righteous of this man - how amazing that this man never lost sleep. How can that be? How could he never have a grievance against anyone?"

Then a jolt of lightening hit me, followed by laughter. Or did I laugh until I felt like I'd been hit by lightening? He isn't married and he isn't a parent! He was a monk, living with other monks. What kind of grudges would they have against each other when their activities together included eating, saying ritual prayers, meditating and lighting candles?

Of course, he never lost sleep over a grievance - he never had to sit at home waiting for recently-licensed-teenager to come home. When curfew was broken, he never had to internally debate if he was going to react with righteous indignation or use the calmer, "I'll deal with you in the morning" attitude.

He never had a wife he had to make happy. Believe me, that's a tough job. Every man that doesn't have a honey-do list probably sleeps really well.

He never had to fight traffic, wrestle for a parking place, sit on a tarmac for hours. He never had to teach a toddler to poop in the poddy, not on the carpet, or to teach a kitty to poop in the litter box, not near the toddler on the carpet. He never had to balance a checkbook, pay bills or dig change out of the couch and the car to buy a gallon of milk.

Living with only men, he never had to worry about leaving the seat up. He also never had to worry if he offended someone by forgetting to compliment their new tunic. They all looked the same.

He never had to drop off and pick up children ON TIME for events; he never had to pass out McDonald's cheeseburgers in the mini-van while driving through traffic to drop them off ON TIME, while listening to

"I didn't want ketchup!"
"I wanted TWO pickles!"
"I wanted chicken nuggets!"

Even though I laughed at the ease of his life compared to MARRIAGE and MOTHERHOOD, it did remind me of the Biblical principal we committed to follow as soon as we married.

Ephesians 4:26-27, “Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath..."

We will get angry. There is a righteous anger, when you get mad at the things that anger the Lord. You just don't sin in your reaction.

Each day conflict between people will arise, but you need to deal with it during the day and not let it fester as you sleep. It will fester.

It begins with the grown-ups, we have to be the good example. When there is conflict with hubby or kids, resolve it. Confess, apologize, ask forgiveness and forgive. Then, verbally teach the kids once your lifestyle example is set.

The setting sun indicates that there is a limited time available to accomplish what you need to do, do not put it off. We practice and preach the clean slate method, wiping the slate clean each day of sins of commission and sins of ommission, so that we can sleep peacefully and can begin each day with new mercies.

We mommies HAVE to practice this - we hardly get enough sleep as it is....

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