Remember last weeks post about Pruning Neck Branches? Well, I took a week off from work (the papal visit closed practically every road, so it was a good call) and tried to use that time to trim some of the brambles in my life.
Unfortunately I didn't get far.
I'd worked six days a week for three weeks straight, missing church for those three weeks. Granted, we needed the fundage, but I still felt like I really needed to be at church.
I was physically, emotionally and spiritually tired when those three weeks were up. I wasn't ready to handle trimming the neck branches. My spiritual shears needed sharpening.
It didn't help that I wasn't in the mood for attitudes. I won't go into details, but someone decided to 'educate' me on the new church ministry rules, and I turned it into a huge deal.
I wasn't ready for change. I wasn't ready to handle an attitude- I just wanted to get my ministry set up. And since my spiritual batteries were nearly dead, I reacted badly. I yelled. I ranted. Then I left church to take a nice long walk, fully intending to go home.
I needed God's Word, but to go back meant I had to see this person again and those that saw me blow up. Not exactly how I wanted to attend services after being away so long! But I wasn't going to let Satan keep me from hearing the sermon, so I turned around and started back, waiting until services started before going back in.
Some congregants noticed I wasn't acting like myself and tried to get me to talk. I wouldn't. I blamed my red nose and puffy eyes on allergies until the sermon started.
After services were over, I walked home. I just wanted to be alone.
I was embarrassed that I lost control. I was angry with that person. And I was angry with myself. Who loses their schmidt like that? No one else I knew. I still have no idea why I reacted so badly.
I needed help. Despite being angry at everyone and everything, I cried out for God to help me, even though I was mad at Him too. It was Sunday and I was curled up into a big ball of misery alone in my bedroom. No one could hear me. I wasn't sure if God was listening.
Today a friend called, wanting me to take a walk with her. We go to the same church, and my first thought was she's going to tell me what everyone said about my blow up. Egad, let me crawl under a rock and die! But she didn't. She chatted with me and never even mentioned church. Apparently my blow up wasn't as momentous as I thought- she hadn't heard a thing. But since I brought it up....
She asked if I would talk about it. I did. Then we prayed. She let me sharpen my spiritual shears by listening and praying with me- but I had to open up first.
Only then did I start feeling better.
I still have to face those same people next week, but my heart will be in a better place by then. Fuller. More humble. And this time, I'll be caught up on the new ministry rules.
Please don't do what I did and run down those spiritual batteries! Read His Word. Pray. Take a walk and talk with a friend. Don't let life dull your shears. How else can you trim those branches and blossom into what He sees in you?