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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost


August 31, 2011 - The Fruit of Patience

By Geff Mastro

It was a beautiful summer morning and I was outside diligently preparing the yard for the weekend and some family summer fun. I had cut the grass, fertilized it, laid down new mulch with precision and care, and was gently trimming the bushes, when the Lord sent me a helper.

Ten-year-old Emma loves to help outside … at least for about 15 minutes. Seeing Daddy, she eagerly asked to help trim some of the bushes we have on the side of the house. This was partly because she wants so badly to be considered a “big” helper, and partly because she thought it was cool to use the clippers. After leaving to get some supplies from the shed, I returned to find Emma and her 8-year-old sister Gianna, not surprisingly, playing with a snail.

My daughters just love finding little creatures, capturing them, and then caring for them like little mothers. Over the years they have come up with some very original names for these creatures. The snail (which was actually a small slug) they named “Sluggy.” A worm they had previously found they appropriately named “Wormy.” They even extended these creative names to some of their stuffed animals, one of whom is named “Lamby.” (Can you guess what kind of animal that one is?)

Being a guy and on a mission to finish, I tried to redirect them and teach them the value of work and seeing a job through to completion. They, however, just wanted to play with the slug. I kept trying and found myself quickly losing patience with them. Although I wasn’t angry, it was frustrating because I was hurrying to get things done that I felt were important. Their priorities, however, were different. So Daddy and his well-intentioned life lesson were quickly supplanted by a slimy, squishy bug with no useful purpose in life as I saw it. So being done in by a slug, I sat with the girls for a bit while they watched their bug sun on a rock outside the front door.

I’ve been reading a lot about the fruit of the Spirit recently (Galatians 5:22,23). One thing that really struck a chord with me was that hurry is the great enemy of our spiritual life. While I was rushing to get my yard work done (as well-intentioned as that might have been), I was missing a “peak experience” with our children. In my perfectionist effort to make everything look nice for them, I was getting frustrated, running out of patience, and almost missed an opportunity God was giving me to cultivate our relationship.

It’s ironic that as a father and man who calls himself a Christian, I was in such a hurry to do the yard for them but wouldn’t take a moment to stop and spend time with them. I was impatient. God, whom I claim to emulate and model my life after, is in no particular hurry for anything. He just wants to spend time with us. You know, when I get really honest, I have to say that if God were in my shoes, I believe He would have sat down right on that grass and stared at that slug for hours with my daughters.

— Geff Mastro lives in a Burlington County, N.J., and is a licensed counselor and school psychologist. He attends Fountain of Life Center (AG) in Florence, N.J.




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