Recently I received a piece of news that was inconvenient and caused me to have to make some last minute changes that I didn't expect. My first reaction to the news was to be annoyed. I quickly felt a black cloud hanging over me.
Hating that bad feeling, I prayed. I simply asked God how I should respond. Very quickly I had the thought (and feeling) that it would be ok to make the necessary adjustments and though I didn't know exactly what the solution would be, I felt there would be one. The spiritual idea that came with this thought was a simple feeling that I could love God more than I loved the self-righteousness that was making me feel bad to begin with. I felt a little burst of love. I am allowed to do what it takes to keep my heart pure of anger and hate. I really am.
On the heels of that came another comforting thought - "I will be more useful to God as I go where necessity blows me than I will if I remain stiff and self-righteous." THAT was exciting. I love the idea of being useful. So, the deal was sealed. Inwardly I felt, God, let me be useful to you!
Over the next few days, I witnessed it. Because of the adjustments that were made, I found myself in a beautiful conversation with a person I never had had a big conversation with before. He told me how helpful the conversation was, how needed. I could feel that we had connected and that his needs had been met. I thank God!
Others who knew of the adjustments I had made were blessed by them too. The whole thing was surrounded by a feeling of spiritual richness. Compare that with the spiritual poverty of selfishness!
Looking back on it, it's so simple - even mathematical. Subtract self-righteousness and receive the spiritual goodness, being in the right place at the right time, which make the every day life a garden of riches.
How foolish I would have been to stay in my rut. To be stiff and self-righteous. I want so badly to be helpful, to be useful, to be in the right place at the right time. And those are things I cannot force to be. They only happen as I am loose, agile, and pure.
Once again (and again, and again) I am saved by grace, by the presence of the Spirit. How quickly we can be saved from stupidity by a little bit of listening and willingness to do and be good.