Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Letting Go of Pride: Dancing Like a KING!

Greetings, to all my friends and neighbors out there in Internet Land! And, to you few family members who stumbled on this, I hope you already have all the necessary supplies to put together your Thanksgiving feast.
We are low on table salt, ourselves, but, as my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA, stands between me and the salt with a flaming sword in her hand, I guess that's just the way it's going to be. 
If any of you, friends, family, whatever,  find yourself looking for a place to eat food and give thanks tomorrow,  come on by the house. If it ain't already cooked, I have discovered that a pressure cooker can do wonderful things in a short amount of time.  If we run out of chairs, we have plenty of floor space.

I have some surprising news for you: I am not a king, nor any sort of ruler.
And yet, I wish to have the attitude of a king!
(King David, to be exact).

When reproached for abandoning himself to the joyous celebration of the LORD's mighty power and deliverance, and appearing to be without dignity, he replied:
"I will be more lightly esteemed than this and will be humble in my own eyes..."
If you want to look it up, it's II Samuel, chapter 6. The quote above is the first part of verse 22, but you need go back at least to verse 12 to get the context.

I'm not sure exactly when the idea of kingly humility became desirable to me. I know, FOR SURE, it wasn't a part of my make-up as a young man. I could give you example after example of how I sought glory and avoided humiliation, but I'll limit it to this one:
It's 1971. I'm a brand-new 18 year-old college freshman, and I've just gone for a successful job interview, which was part of my financial aid package. I'm exuberant! On my way back to my car, I cut across an medical building lawn. Midway across, I stumble over an irrigation valve, somewhat hidden in the grass. Thinking fast! I decide I don't want anyone watching out the windows to be amused at my clumsiness, so I start acting like I walk that way, in a hippie-dippie dance of joyous celebration of life, or something. 
Twelve years later, I'm about to be a parent for the first time. And I suppose I have learned to let go of supposed pride a bit by then. Evidence: one of the promises I made to myself was that I was always going to be honest with my son; and that if I ever made a mistake in my treatment of him, I was going to promptly admit it to him; and do what I needed to do to make it up to him. You know what? I'm reasonably sure that's one promise I've kept, with all my kids.

It had an unexpected benefit: over the years, there have been times with ALL my kids when they disagreed with some decision I had made, and they didn't like it, and so forth, rinse and repeat. However, I found that I was always able to say to them:
Listen, I know you think I'm wrong about this. Maybe I am, but I don't think so. But, you KNOW that if I find out I'm wrong, I'm gonna admit it, and I'm gonna fix it. Right?
Grudgingly, maybe, they agree, and the situations resolve. I think of it as if I have been making deposits in the First Trust Bank of Papa's Kids for all these years, and I have enough of a balance that I can draw on it. (And I have no idea how often I've been wrong. Ask my kids.)

So, on Monday, I was Papa-sitting three of my grandchildren:

Brave (3), Blue Bird (1), Bro Bro (6)

Through misunderstanding of my instructions from Mama, I put all three of the kids down for naps at noon-ish.

Heath, which is Bro Bro's legal name, was flabbergasted. Let me cut to the chase: he could not imagine that his mother had told me to put him down for a nap, and he wanted me to check with Mum. I did NOT want to disturb Mum, who was on a Mission From God, to ask about something that was perfectly clear in my mind. After a somewhat protracted discussion, which NEVER, EVER escalated to temper or tears, Heath accepted that I did, in fact, have the authority to put him down for a nap, even if that seemed utterly ridiculous. And he went to bed.

About 10 minutes later, Mum called to check on status. I passed along that I had just gotten them all down for bed. With alacrity not found in most inhabited regions of the universe, she quickly disabused me of the idea that Heath was to take a nap. Mum was dreadfully apologetic, thinking the error was hers, but it wasn't. I was even able to identify where I went wrong, as if it mattered. But, what I did next, DID matter.

I joyfully dragged my ancient carcass up those blessed stairs to the boys' bedroom, and summoned Heath. I told him that he was right, and that I was wrong, and that Mum had just clarified things for me. 
And I told him how impressed I was that he had been so cooperative, and BOTH parts of that statement are true! He HAD been cooperative, more so than could reasonably be expected for a young man in the first grade, and I WAS impressed with the way he handled my error.

I passed the information along to Mum and Dad when they returned from their (successful) Mission From God, to emphasize what a wonderful character their first-born son demonstrated. And then, Papa Pat got the Great Big Blessing.

Dad praised and encouraged Heath for his behavior, and gave him some other examples of adults who made mistakes, and needed to fix them (which the Mission From God was designed to redress), and then he said:
"And you know how when I make a mistake, I always admit it to you and make it up to you?" Heath nodded, enthusiastically. "Well," Dad points to me, "he's the one who taught me to do that."
Beloved, beloved, beloved: in my heart then, and now as I recount it to you, I am dancing like a king.
May you find such moments in your life.

Peace be on your household.

(P.S. Evidently, I am supposed to explicitly state that when you click on a book link here, Amazon knows that you were referred by me. And, if you actually BUY the book, I get some paltry amount (2.39%, I believe) for having made the referral. I thought it was public knowledge, because it's right there in the referral link, industry standard, etc, but evidently, I have been negligent. SO: if you click on links here, to a product on Amazon, Amazon will know I referred you!)
( 'nother P.S. Will I have reviews coming soon? I surely hope so! Laura Montgomery has an EXCELLENT relatively new release in her NWWWLF series; Shami Stovall has not one but TWO books about PIRATES! that are just great, with a third one in the works and there are others with longer wait times. Behold, I shall hide nothing from you: multiple facets of the universe have gathered together with the obvious intent of pounding the Chattahoochee Pattersons into powder and casting us to the winds. Were it not for the steadfast love of my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA, I do not have a clue of how I would have been able to keep breathing in and out. We WILL prevail!)

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