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Category: Beatitudes

Gentle Peacemakers

I sit down this morning with one of my favorite passages of scripture: the Sermon on the Mount. These 3 chapters in the Gospel of Matthew have been the basis for many hours of personal bible study for me. Two of the verse pictured are some of the hardest for me to swallow: Blessed are the gentle… & Blessed are the peacemakers… I find these verses difficult because I don’t think I’m either. 
Honestly, I find myself relating more to Colt’s peacemaker than to that of a maker of peace. I struggle with being a peace maker for a couple reasons. Peace isn’t just absence of conflict, it’s the presence of calmness. I certainly don’t being calm to most situations, but do bring my share of conflict. I’m cantankerous, quick tempered, I have a fast tongue & I have to be right. All qualities the scriptures urge Christ followers to NOT be. I have decided to I want to make a goal of my to be more of a peacemaker in my interactions with others… especially my family. A few weeks ago at church, we discussed how as parents we shouldn’t exasperate our children… even if they do so to us. I’m trying to me less argumentative. It doesn’t always come out that way. 

And gentle… which I know being gentle or meek means have overwhelming power that you keep restrained. I’d much rather display said power, in order to control. Which is problematic. 

These are shortcomings I’ve noticed in my life. Shortcomings, that bother me. Shortcomings, I want to change. Each day, I try and I have success as well as failure. But each day, I will continue to fight the good fight to become a better husband, a better dad, a man who is more like what Jesus has called me to be. 

What about you?

The Be-Attitudes… and other attitudes that manifest in Eli (Vintage Post)

Quaint, isn’t it? I heard that some time ago and kind of like it. I was reading the Scriptures just now and I read the Beatitudes. I have read them a ton over the last 20 months. In January 2007 I embarked on a study of the Sermon on the Mount that is seemingly unending. Anyway, I read over a few of them that kind of stuck with me today. As I did yesterday, as Hayden takes his morning nap, I opened up the garage door and sat right at the edge of the garage in order to view and enjoy the world around me. It was raining again today. Drizzling and I think that by this point it has actually stopped. Glorious! Going to go run before we pick up Noah and then after that we are going to Seaworld.

I have realized that Noah starting school has been harder on me that I would have thought it to be. Or maybe it is just a combination of the fact that I am still out of work, we are running out of money, I feel worthless and Noah has started school. I am enjoying my time with Hayden, but he is taking this whole transition rather hard as well. Noah is his buddy, his partner in crime, his playmate and his best friend. It is very cool to be able to have time with Hayden alone, I am grateful for it. Honestly, though I think Hayden would rather Noah to be here. Oh well, we all have to learn to cope with life at some point. I wish I could tell Hayden that Noah will always be an arms reach away, but he won’t and in fact at some time in the future Hayden will be an annoyance to Noah.

I have been feeling strong feelings of sadness and despair lately. Not that I don’t like my life or anything, it is just hard to feel excited right now. It has been raining for three days and I have been stuck in the house for all three of them. This may have something to do with it. or it could just be where I am in life right now. I feel as though I want to cry a lot. I feel very emotional regarding my wife, my kids and my dogs. It only takes a fleeting thought of them to evoke strong passionate feelings and if I can’t see them right at that second, feelings of missing them. What is wrong with me? I am a sad emotional wreck. I would say that I think I’m depressed, but my mom would get upset at me for claiming such… plus I haven’t exhibited these symptoms for 6 months so I can’t be. I feel sadness, despair, and loneliness often right now.

What does any of this have to do with the beattitudes? Nothing probably, maybe… or everything. As I said a few struck me today:

Blessed are the poor in spirit – these people realize their abject poverty and worthlessness before God. I do, as well as realizing my worthlessness in general… or should I say my perceived worthlessness. Again the feelings of despair, sadness and loneliness present themselves and I can’t help but to realize that I am offering nothing to anyone. Ok, the house is generally clean when Ronda comes home and most of the time dinner is ready, while I am taking graduate classes… there seems to be something missing from my existence. There must be more to life than housework, homework, and job searches.

Blessed are those who mourn – how many times do I have to state the depressive mood of sadness, despair and loneliness? I currently mourn my own manhood. I am a housewife. I look forward to trips to Wal-Mart, the mall and the grocery store. Play dates at the playground anyone? Laundry offers the chance sit down and watch tv for a minute. I mourn my ability to provide for my family, my ability to allow Ronda to not have to work like a dog. I mourn the feelings of adequacy that come from being at work and working. Yard work is a release because it is manly. I run (when it isn’t raining for 3 days straight). Lift weights. Everything I do involves bringing a stroller and a diaper bag. I think I can feel my nuts shrink as I confess this.

Blessed are the gentle – power under control. This hit home because I am often not power under control but, power out of control. These people are easy going, good-natured. I don’t think anyone have ever used either of those terms to describe me. Sometimes it is so hard to not let the little things the boys do bother me. In the big picture, what does it matter if the color on mediums other than paper? It doesn’t. Even if that medium is me. Especially, if that medium is me. Understandably, they want to use me as a medium, Ron from the Midnight Iguana does.

Blessed are the merciful – this ties into being gentle. Being a stay at home dad has forced me to be merciful. The toys are all over the back porch, I pick them up. 5 minutes later the toys are all over the back porch. I pick them up. 5 minutes later…. Ronda tells me that sometimes I have unrealistic expectations for a 2 year old and a 4 year old. She may not be wrong.

Where does all this leave me? It leaves me wanting another cup of coffee (that I don’t have), having to pee, and bitter for feeling the ways that I have described. I’m going to pee and then sleep until Hayden wakes up.

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