What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. James 4:1-2a (NIV)
I feel the need for a disclaimer here. In the post about my obituary, I should have made it clear that that is how I hope my obituary to read someday. Were it written today, my family can vouch for the fact that any references to “the love chapter” would be eliminated. While I set that as my goal, in fact, my life is more like the first three verses of 1 Corinthians 13 that state no matter how eloquent our speech, no matter how much we know, or no matter how much we do for others, if we don’t have love, it is for naught. Were my obituary based on my real behavior, it would say I am that clanging cymbal described in 1 Corinthians 13 as I nag, whine, push my agenda and give unsolicited advice. Take yesterday for example, the day before my pious delivery of a Sunday School lesson on James 4. Husband got home about 2:00 after working a half day and stopping to pick up hay for my horse. He unloaded the hay for me, then, went in to fix his own lunch while I messed around in the barn. I blew in about 2:30 after suddenly realizing how near it was to the closing time of the glass store. I needed some yellow glass for a project, and they close at 4:00. I was in a hurry and nagged at him to get a move on. He needed to go back to work to check on a computer program, and I drummed my fingers on the counter and frowned while he took care of a customer who came in even though it was obvious that they were closed. Finally, he hurried the man out, turned off his computer and obligingly took me to the store. All the way there, I gave him advice on how to drive. From the glass store, we went to a bookstore where I browsed luxuriously while he yawned in a chair by the front door. Afterwards, I had in mind a restaurant to go to for dinner, but he wanted to go somewhere different. I was hoping to get home early to run a load of glass in the kiln. So much for an evening of romance! I gave in though. After all, he hates shopping and we’d been at it for a couple of hours. We got lost on the way to the restaurant which was partly my fault and partly his, so we sniped at each other awhile. Eventually, we ended up having a great evening, but I didn’t get my glass fused. I was a little cranky about that, but kept my mouth shut. Not because I am so full of love and kindness, but because I knew it was in my best interest not to get him stirred up! So, don’t admire me for what I want to be. I’m not nearly there yet. I’ll only be perfect after the obituary is for real.