“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23
Everybody has a button. You know, that pet peeve that, when pushed, can bring out the flesh in a hurry. Well for me, that button is rudeness. I can’t stand it when people are rude. It’s just unnecessary. I don’t care who you are or how stupid the other person seems to have been to you, there’s just no excuse for rudeness in my book.
Well, it should come as no surprise that God would place us in certain circumstances where our buttons stand a great chance of being pushed so that we can be tried in the fire. It’s fruit He desires, and nothing stands in the way of fruit being produced more than the flesh.
I went on this mission trip for a few reasons. One of the main reasons was to hopefully experience God in a greater way and to learn from this experience a little of what His heart is for the people of the world and hopefully come out looking a little more like Jesus. I can say with full assurance that God is already at work in me and He has used a rather likely source as His vessel of choice to bring forging through fire: TSA.
Yes, TSA. Your friend and mine. There are few examples I can think of that embody the spirit of rudeness more perfectly. I mean, it’s bad enough you have to not only take your shoes off, but now your belt, too. But how was I to know I couldn’t bring a half-consumed bottle of water through the check point? And in the spirit of being helpful, I agreed to carry another team member’s laptop through to the plane. I’ve never carried a laptop through security before so how was I supposed to know you had to take it out of the case before going through the X-ray machine? Sadly, Mr. Grump Bumpy TSA man obviously thought I ought to have known these bits of information because, in the rudest way possible, he proceeded to inform me of the errors of my ways. And complete with a full blown attitude to boot!
But alas, I am, after all, on a mission trip. And Lord knows this guy probably needed Jesus, too. Looking back, I am thankful I didn’t lose my cool. I sure felt like it. But the episode was the first of what I hope will be many opportunities for God to form the likeness of Jesus in me. For it’s when we get our buttons pushed that we need to allow His Spirit to take control the most.
Thanks TSA, for the predictable opportunity to allow God to forge me in the fire of His love. And thank you, God, for being patient with me and for not being finished with me yet.