Sometimes I feel like a fairly intelligent person –able to manage a household and be a writer and teach a Spanish class.
Then there was last week when the fire alarm went off at school, and I could not for the life of me remember all of the procedures. The students and I left the room, and I closed the door and turned off the lights behind us (because that's what the teacher across from me was doing.)
We walked outside and down to the end of the building, and that's when I saw all the teachers holding up their colored cards that indicated to the administration all their students were accounted for. And yes, my stack of indicator cards was still hanging above my desk in the classroom.
Shouldn't it be simple? Grab the cards. File out of the room quickly. Turn off the light. Close the door. Walk quickly outside. Hold up card indicating students accounted for.
That brings me to the 50 or so emotional emergencies I have in my heart every day.
All day long it's like there's that little red lever someone is pulling, and the alarm goes off: Not peaceful! Not peaceful! Not peaceful!
And I ask, Wait, what do I do again?
I'm thinking specifically about the unrighteousness emergency –when I say the unkind word or tell the "white" lie or refuse sharing. The Spirit reaches for the lever.
Blaring alarm sounds: Bad! Bad! Bad!
So I'm making this list of procedures for myself, and Lord willing I'll remember them. You may read them if you would like.
IN CASE OF SIN:
- Feel guilt. "When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin..." (John 16:8 NIV)
- Feel sad. "Blessed are the poor in spirit...those who mourn..." (Matthew 5:3,4 NIV)
- Make apology and amends. "...go and be reconciled..." (Matthew 5:24 NIV)
- Humbly accept consequences.
- Feel forgiven. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins..." (1 John 1:9 NIV)
- Feel loved. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son..." (John 3:16 NIV)
Number six is the hard one, you know.
Guilt? Easy –like remembering students should leave the building if it's on fire.
But it's the love part I tend to leave behind.
I've been asking God about the misery I feel all the time, and this was his answer to me –that I am living in procedures one through five and never in procedure six.
We are loved. We are loved. We are loved.
Love is the colored card stock the Spirit holds up to say, I can account for this one, and she is okay.
Never forget #6.
Christy Fitzwater is the author of A Study of Psalm 25: Seven Actions to Take When Life Gets Hard. She is a blogger, pastor's wife and mom of two teenagers and resides in Montana.
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