I was doing some surfing tonight and I came across a marriage blog with a list of subjects for spouses to discuss on dates. I’m always up for new ideas, so I clicked the link. There were several very good ideas (like “What is a way I can make you feel more important than anyone else in my life”) but after reading the instructions – “Pick no more than 3 or 4 and discuss them deeply” – I did get amused at a few of the suggestions. I can just imagine the conversation:
Me: Honey, there’s something I’ve been wanting to discuss with you.
Sam: Ok, what is it?
Me: I really want to know what your favorite color is.
Sam: It’s red. You know that.
Me. But I want to discuss it deeply. How do you feel about it? What makes red special to you?
Sam: What in the world are you talking about??
Me: Ok, never mind. Tell me what your five favorite meals are in order of how much you like them. And why. And how you feel about them. What they remind you of.
Sam: Steak. I like steak. What is this all about? You aren’t making a lot of sense tonight.
Me: I’m trying to discuss important subjects deeply. What about your five favorite sources of recreation, with the most favorite first?
Sam: Well, you know I love video games. And bowling. And I like to watch TV with you. You already know all of this.
Me: That’s great! Now, let’s discuss it deeply. How do video games make you feel about yourself?
Sam: I really don’t get it. What do you want me to say?
Now, I’m not mocking the blog. Like I said, there were some very good suggestions and I will pull some of them out on future date nights (Sam, you’re forewarned.) I just got a case of the giggles imagining having a deep, meaningful discussion about our favorite colors or which things around the house need to be cleaned.
It’s good to laugh. Life’s a lot easier with a sense of humor. I tend to take things too seriously sometimes. Like the other day at work – a woman came in and had the nerve to expect us to do exactly what we do, and it ticked me right off. The problem wasn’t so much what she wanted, it was that she wanted it NOW, immediately, without an appointment. Even that wouldn’t normally have gotten me upset, I can flex. It was the attitude. The “You will do this because I’m standing here telling you so” attitude. I hate being pushed. I hate being ordered. And worst of all – I didn’t get to tell her “No, you have to make an appointment and come back.” I really wanted to tell her that. But my boss said, “Sure, we can do it.” I was just grinding my teeth.
I was “good” – I wasn’t rude to the client, didn’t say anything about making an appointment next time or any of the other things that sprang to mind. I didn’t snap or sound sarcastic. But I sure wasn’t my normal warm, friendly client-greeting self. I told myself I was being “professional” but eventually I had to admit I was being cool and standoffish because I was annoyed. And when I walked out of the room and talked to my co-worker, I was certainly not saying kind and uplifting things about the client. I was spilling my irritation and annoyance and negativity. And there was plenty to spill.
So, it doesn’t take much to bump me down off my cloud of “love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control”. In fact it seems like I blew almost every one of those in just a 10 minute span of time. But the good news, as always, is that God is so faithful, so loving, so slow to anger and ready to forgive, and so consistent to point out to me these areas that I need to continue letting him change me to be more like Jesus.
That’s something to discuss deeply. Oh, by the way, my favorite color is blue. Every shade of blue in the ocean – which is my favorite place. (Even though “what’s your favorite place” wasn’t one of the questions.)