Take his room for example. At first glance it looks like a yard sale or maybe a cleaner version of a landfill. I’ve noticed a pattern to his clutter; he puts the same items back on the floor in the same piles and in the same place. You can read about that here.
Any time we go out, he first fills a bag (or bags) with little items: strings, sticks, old papers, napkins and small toys. Eventually, there are so many bags in the car I can’t find the back seat.
I prefer my car looking clean and spacious instead of like a Sanford and Son road show. But I’ve decided that Jon feels better when his stuff is around him. So I let it slide, for a while. When I can’t stand it anymore, I carry everything back into the landfill – his room. Then we start all over again.
When he showers, he lines all his supplies up very methodically, things he needs for bathing and things he doesn’t and you better not touch any of it.
Eating is a repeat. Food is placed strategically around him and after all the fussing he can wait up to an hour before taking a bite, while he draws or writes on napkins.
Some of his actions seem illogical and I don’t pretend to understand. I’ve had to learn to overlook and accept much of his behavior for what it is. If I allowed his fixations to constantly frustrate and aggravate me, I’d be twitching in a corner by now.
Time has proved that Jon’s not going to change, so I have to. There’s no point or value in my locking horns with his obsessiveness. It only escalates, adding stress, misery and tension to an already unconventional situation.
Face it, some of the things we hang on to, whether they are opinions, beliefs, material goods, expectations of others or ourselves are not useful and in the long run don’t matter much, if at all. “Don’t sweat the small stuff” really applies here.
It’s the trivial, the little pebbles in the shoe, that can hinder. How much better is it to move around the petty obstacles and keep going?
Not everything is urgent and some things aren’t even important. Others are non-negotiable and so critical I need the grip and tenacity of a pit bull to hold them.
When I’m tired, frustrated or discouraged it’s easy to let slip those things that should remain.
Knowing when to hold on and when to let go requires wisdom, discernment, consistency and prayer.
It also requires change. I must be willing to adjust in areas where I’m too rigid or passive, or at least examine these and determine their validity.
Is this a battle I need to win? Is this an issue I should stand firm on? Sometimes the answer is yes. Very often it is no.
In all areas of life, prioritizing and simplifying, helps me live effectively and peacefully with myself and others.
And in doing so I discover, as time goes by that people, circumstances and inconvenience irritate me less. I’m certain I have my son to thank for some of that.
Philippians 4:6-7 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Revelation 3:2 “Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.”