Eric's Sunday Sermon; Consistency
Interesting About Getting Older
Consistency In The Face of Inconsistent and Bad
Our consistency, our staying the course and our resilience are absolutely necessary for running the good race of life. Not so sure they have them anymore but we used to have “one hit wonders”. And act or a song or an artist or combination that made it big for only one song. There have been many. It is kind of cool. There are some politicians like that. Perhaps in politics that is how it should be.
In both cases what we see is the splash. We do not see the day in and day out hard work. If a parent makes a pretty good mistake, that is what we will see. We will not see the day to day, day after day that adds up to years and years of good parenting. Or perhaps in good or in bad we just see the result. We do not see the longsuffering that masks pain of any sort that is endured.
Most assuredly know that illnesses that are not readily physically witnessed are not treated the same as those that are. Yet the battle to overcome requires constant vigil which also is not seen by others. Consistency is required even if to an outside eye the dramatic is all that is noticed.
So in all this we see that consistency is a two way street. Is the person a friend that for over twenty years have been your friend and yet on day X they screw up really badly? They were not consistent for a moment. Is our love toward them consistent? Is our support for an artist only there when they reach the top 10? Is a parent only consistent when the child is consistently being good? And likewise is a child only consistently loving a parent when they are consistent in being a great parent? Do hiccups which disturb our regular pattern mean we are bad breathers?
We all too often allow our decisions of enjoying life and more important, other life, to become fogged by another’s failures in the area of “consistently good”. There seems to be a strange notion that sins are forgiven and we accept that we all do sin, but a single slight in a relationship erases years of friendship.
So we all must strive for consistency. Especially when raising a child. It is paramount to good parenting. But perhaps the best part of that consistency is when we screw up we own it and move on. “Mom was wrong, but she will consistently make amends”.
Most Folks Just Do Something Wrong But Are Not Bad To The Bone
St. Francis Is Said To Be Good to The Bone
Do We Mirror, Through Our Spirit, The Wrong Of Others?
Blindness to our lack of consistency is a hell wrought upon others. Insisting on blaming another rather than ourselves, yes, right or wrong is really bad stuff. When we adopt a good moral fiber it is not a guaranteed immunization to doing wrong. Can I pray on stuff, think deeply about it and then sleep on it and wake up determined to fix the fact that what I did yesterday was not what I now, today would do? Am I a strong enough person to consistently soften my heart.
There is a really good part in the Bible about repeat offenders. It reminds me of the poor folks who suffer with aggravated cases of Bi-Polar 1 disease and the alcoholic. If they are putting their heart and soul and mind into it they can do just fine – 90% of the time. But for friends and family that 10% is what defines the relationship. So once or twice a year these afflicted souls screw up badly due to swings or relapses. So back to our Bible part. Mat 18:21.“21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!”. (yes some Bible translations say 70 times 7) This is good advice and so hard to do. Heck, loving your enemy is easier than loving someone who has been inconsistently good. Again it is turned around. Are we consistent? Do we love and forgive 7 times but on the 8th become inconsistent in loving. The person who acted badly is met by the person who understands badly and all of the sudden gunshots are fired and war breaks out. Why does 1 or 60 bad things wipe out 1 million good?
“Oh he has burned me so many times, this is it, I want nothing more to do with it!” And there went our consistency in forgiveness. But my child just kept arguing and arguing and so I yelled harshly at him. And there went my consistency for the child out the window. Please do not judge it. Just see it for what it is.
If another person’s horrible behavior changes me then what am I other than a reed blowing in the wind and shriveling when my environment is not just right? Doesn’t that in a real true way make me a coward? Oh my dear I cannot handle that person anymore because it is just too much work and energy. I suggest that you will then need to spend tenfold that energy living with yourself.
Some Times Being Sorry Is The Best We Can Do
Sorry Kids, I Should Have Done Better
Stand By Your Loved Ones, No Matter What
So poor old mom gets early onset dementia/Alzheimer’s and boom. She does not mess up weekly, she gets to mess up hourly. Child moves back home as dual caregiver with dad. Mom messes up once. All is forgiven. Mom messes up hourly for two years. Does our very necessary consistency and routine change because it is 7 times 70? But back to our Bi-Polar I. He is younger and he self-medicates with booze. Let us say 55. When he messes up for the tenth time all children abandon and spouse calls it quits. Our consistency seems built on our compassion and somehow our compassion is an inside job and not a loving one at that. Based on our judgment Mom is now welcome though weird and dad is now an unwelcome person.
We see that our consistency is based on our judgment. Ignorance is bliss. Do we say “how could he do this to me?” when he is drunk but, we say “poor mom” when she is in her pajamas at the neighbors at 3 am. I pray the Lord that I be consistent in my appraisal and love of myself and others. I really sometimes wish I had a broken leg rather than cancer. You cannot see my cancer but you can see my cast.
No way are we that shallow! Or am I?
Multiple children and you have an issue. Jane actively rebels with a touch of lie. Billy is being like the sacred child and Suzie is being dense. How consistently can a parent treat these children with the same but different love? John is perfect today in 1st grade but two months into 2nd he is hell on wheels. Dad was cool in November but really sucked in July. He was welcome then but not welcome now. Who lost their consistency?
Here we are strict with screens and electronic stuff. Such must be done before the privilege. I hope we do not disappoint disciplinarians. But we require as much free play outside as inside screen stuff. I think around 10 minutes of chore type stuff per 20 minutes of game time. And probably 20 minutes of exercise stuff per half hour of tablet or Ipad stuff. We measure by pinch and love and not by measuring cup and tea spoon.
I wish I was more consistent in the day to day. And I am glad that I break consistency from time to time to the good, and surprise with some special love giving.