Distraction of Situational Demands

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Colossians 3:12-14

“I’ve got one!“ I cried, furiously reeling in the fishing line. It was my first catch, a 32-inch halibut, the biggest fish I had ever caught. This excursion out of Homer was one of many on this Alaskan vacation. We were dressed in gloves, jackets, and earmuffs. Other experiences included:

  1. Sightseeing for Beluga whales at Turnagain Arm.
  2. Watching glaciers calve on a harbor cruise in Seward.
  3. Hiking in Anchorage.
  4. Flying into a secluded river surrounded by mountains and populated with bears.
  5. Fishing from a boat or from shore, dressed in waist-high waders, on the Kenai River.
  6. Even being pulled into the waters by a tractor at Ninilchik.

Every experience had its own majesty and diverse conditions. Whether we were whale watching, hiking, or fishing for halibut, silvers, or sockeye, each day demanded different clothing and equipment, adapting to the weather, the activity, and the fish we hoped to catch.

This brought one of my favorite verses, Colossians 3:12-14 to mind, where Paul talks about clothing ourselves in the characteristics of Christ. Just as we adapted our clothing and equipment to suit the weather and the fish we were targeting, it reminded me of the importance of adapting our spiritual attire to the situations we face in life.

Every trait of Christ is necessary in various conditions. Kindness and love should always radiate from us, but sometimes the situation requires more self-control, patience, or forgiveness. Different circumstances require different attributes, yet love, as Colossians 3:14 in the Message reminds us, is our all-purpose garment.

As we prepare for the day, typically, we put on foundational garments before we dress in our clothes. So love is the foundation for every other trait needed for the day. Loving God, loving others, and loving ourselves are the cornerstones of our faith. However, it’s important to note that we may struggle to demonstrate these traits when we haven’t loved ourselves enough to be well-rested. Fatigue can erode our patience, ability to be kind, and self-control, making it vital to prioritize self-care.

 When I am tired, irritability rears its ugly head much more quickly than the patience of love. If I am going to love with a 1st Corinthians 13 love, I need to be well rested. This enables me to better demonstrate patience, kindness, and humility even in challenging times. 

So, consider what clothing you require as you enter today’s situations. Are you well-rested and prepared to clothe yourself in love, the foundational garment for every other attribute of Christ? May your journey today be dressed with the virtues that shine God’s light into the world around you. Whether it’s challenging or predictable, may you touch the hearts of those you encounter.

Dear Lord,

I desire to be dressed in your virtues of love, kindness, humility, patience, and forgiveness so I can be Your light to those around me. Reveal to me the best ways to prepare for this each day. Amen.

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