somewhere in my 40s, i’ve lost something.
not my vision—even though i can’t read small print.
or my waistline—it’s there somewhere.
no, i lost something else. something much more valuable.
and now days after turning 47, i find myself having to work to regain it.
i lost my kindness and gentleness.
the Bible describes those particular traits as fruit of the Spirit, meaning it’s the outward evidence to those around us that the Holy Spirit is working in our lives. it’s what people mean we follow “Christ’s example” or that “God is working in our lives.”
it’s also pretty revealing of my soul at this point in my spiritual journey because if kindness and gentleness are fruit, they shriveled up, rotted and have become fly bait in my life.
patience isn’t far behind. in fact, it’s usually what triggers my lack of kindness and gentleness.
want to give me a long explanation? just get to the point.
making me late for something? you’re going to get some cutting remarks thrown at you, wrapped in sarcasm.
left something undone? i will put you on my invisible list.
i don’t really love people.
i’m more annoyed by them.
and i’m not exactly sure how i got to this point.
i think maybe i let life affect me too much.
and i think i let the actions of others poison the soil, and kill the fruit.
i’m kind of a jerk.
and sometimes i really enjoy it. there’s some part of me that enjoys unleashing the emotions that i’m feeling. frustration. anger.
but there’s some carnage.
i’ve hurt people close to me.
i’ve led them to believe that they are less important to me than my expectations.
maybe that’s a glimpse into the real issue.
somewhere along the way, i elevated me.
sure, we should take care of ourselves, but somehow i decided that what i want is more important than anything else.
and i’m not very good at growing fruit on my own.
to be a good gardener, i have to let Someone else do it.
and i got tired of Him doing it.
i thought i could do it better.
i was wrong.
so i’m trying to be more intentional about being kind.
i’m trying to be less resentful.
i’m trying to react less, think more.
but i think the soil is going to have to be replenished before anything truly takes root.
i always imagined myself as being the grumpy old man on the porch yelling at the neighborhood kids to get off his property.
but i’m finding that while that satisfies a need i have to be alone, it also wounds those around me.
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image courtesy of flickr.com/creative commons/by Pieter van Marion