I don't share that because I need you to tell me nice things about myself, but because it's true - I have been slugged at a lot. Not just by one person really hard, but by several people in varying ways. It's like the Chinese water torture principle... over time the little jabs from many sources can do more damage than a big frontal attack by one.
Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of letting it get to me. It's like a commander on a battle field who has both feet full of splinters, only he has to keep the battle moving forward. So he has to ignore the little pricks for the sake of the much larger responsibility.
And likewise, I can't fully share the details of who is hurting me and how they're doing it. Some of the people who are being, well... jerks... can I say that? Even if I called them out on it publicly for the right reasons, it would cause others to have to pick sides for the wrong reasons. I am required to have a bigger perspective than that, and while I want to... sometimes that's the hard cross I carry.
The title of this post is "one minute."
Because in all of this I am finding that in every day there is about one minute where this all gets to me. And if you would poke me or jab me, even in innocence, I would turn around and bite your head off - I might even hit you hard and send you to the ground. The frustration and intensity really can become that if I let it.
Keep in mind, it's only one minute, which iover the course of a day full of 1,440 minutes "isn't that bad." I could tell myself that and simply ignore that minute of darkness within, content that it's perfectly fine to have some "justifiable anger."
Or - I could let God deal with that "one minute" until it becomes less than those fiery 60 seconds, whether it completely disappears or progressively is taken over by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.
Within you today - is there a "one minute" you feel you can justify? Maybe it's "two minutes," or "ten seconds" or "12 hours." You may feel you have every right for it to be there, because you're being poked and slugged and jabbed at by life/people.
If your leadership role is parenting, you may bite your kids heads off for no justifiable reasons. Or if you carry workplace responsibility,you will bring insecurity issues into that realm - whether you are working your dream job or feel like a drone. And if you happen to serve in some Church capacity (which applies to every Christian, because wherever you go you represent the Church - like it or not), there is one minute worth of poison in you that must be tended to or else you will spoil the very good things God is up to in your midst.
Trust me on this - TAKE CARE of that "one minute." Bring it before our holy God and let His eternal perspective counteract the temporal one you're stuck in. It probably will require some intentional moments of pulling out those splinters every day, but something tells me that is well worth it to walk with confidence out of the dark as you lead others into the Light.
"See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you." (Luke 11:35-36)