I’m all about neat and tidy.
A place for everything and everything in its place.
And I like clean counters and squeaky clean everything else.
I also love clean windows.
But I don’t do windows.
At least from the outside.
Every week I clean the inside windows throughout the house.
But the outside? Can’t remember the last time I touched them…literally.
Frame’s Pest Control.
Each time I would clean the windows, the pest control guys would come out to my house and spray every single window and frame with the stuff that kills our monster spiders (and if you live near water you know the type of spiders I’m referring to). BIG. HAIRY. AUDACIOUS.
Why spend hours cleaning the outside when the pest control folks will undo my work in a matter of minutes?
Okay so enough about my windows. Looking at this photo…can you imagine being the person assigned to cleaning these doozies? Neither can I.
That’s a job I would pass on in a heartbeat.
Which got me thinking about other tasks I like to pass on…
Feeding the dogs who reside outside.
Pulling out the refrigerator and cleaning under it.
Hand washing all the lovely (but dust gathering) glassware.
Give me jobs I can sink my teeth into…like repairing a relationship gone wrong.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18
Though I’ve read this passage a thousand times (at least) it always stops me in my tracks and I feel compelled to do a fast “relational” check-up with all the people in my world.
I think about the past few weeks and briefly do a quick mental run-down to see if I am living at peace with everyone.
I start with my immediate circle of “people” and work outward.
If I’m able to scan quickly through these circles I’m pretty sure things are okay between us…but…and this is a big “but“…if I catch myself ruminating over one person’s name (envisioning a painful conversation or silence)…I’m done for.
My next step compels me to dig deeper into my part of the problem that exists between us. Then all my peace-full thoughts can go straight out the window because I’m remembering what I said, how I said it, or what I did (or didn’t) that caused this disturbance of the peace.
My peace (and theirs.)
Sarah Young talks about one of the surest ways to know if you’re not at peace with a person. It’s what you’re thinking about them…
She writes —
To live at peace with everyone, you need to control not only what you say and do but also what you think. It’s common to assume that your thoughts about others don’t matter much, as long as you keep them to yourself. However, when you indulge in negative thinking about someone, your relationship with that person is damaged.
It’s true isn’t it?
Even when we demonstrate self-control in not speaking our minds…we’re still harming the relationship (and saying bye-bye to any semblance of peace) with that person when we think badly of them.
Young notes another obstacle to peace — taking the first step toward it.
Most people prefer to live peacefully with others, but when there are conflicts, many wait for the other person to make the first move. Problems inevitably arise when both parties wait for the other to take the first step.
I don’t know about you, but when I finally get something cleared up with another person…it makes me breathe easier.
And yes, that first step toward peace is often the hardest one to take.
But I’ve found (happily) that the majority of the time…everyone desires peace as much as I do (we’re all just too scared to be the first one to speak up and for peace.)
So on this Memorial Day weekend as we’re remembering all the sacrifices our military men and women have made to keep peace around our country’s borders; how about we take a brief mental inventory to see that we are peacemakers within our own personal borders?