The Yardstick

Inspiration“This is the third time this month you have been late picking up the kids. You are going to have to figure out a way to be more on time,” I said coldly. My former spouse just looked at me with a mixture of embarrassment and exhaustion. After the kids were gone and the house was quiet, I made my way outside to sit on the deck and stew. For the first ten minutes all I could think about was how inconsiderate my former spouse was. I have a life, too. How selfish my ex can be, not even considering me and my circumstances. I ruminated in my self-righteousness for another ten minutes…

Then, a very faint voice started to grow louder and louder in my head. It was as if I sat on the remote control to my TV and happened to land on the volume button. This almost imperceptible voice steadily grew into a roar that I could not ignore. I was searching for the “mute” button to silence my mind, but couldn’t find it. I kept hearing, “It’s not all about you.” I was so caught up in my own self-righteousness, I failed to even consider my ex’s own circumstances: the long hours on the job, the grind of the daily commute, the struggles to make ends meet, and the trying to spend time with the kids. Nope, it was all about me. I suddenly felt very small and petty.

It is so easy to get caught up in our own perspective and lose sight of the true meaning of life. Why are we even here? Is it just about meeting a schedule, making enough money, or finding our own personal satisfaction and happiness? Is that the sum total of life? No. It’s about love. That is the only yardstick God will use when we stand before Him. He will judge our lives simply by how well we loved-everyone-including our former spouse. In the end, it is all that really matters.

I came to learn that love doesn’t necessarily mean like. While I found my former spouse difficult to like, I was still called to love by being patient, understanding, and flexible. While sometimes very difficult to do, love is the pathway to peace here on Earth, and the key to eternal life with love personified: Jesus Christ.

“But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” – Luke 6:27-28

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