Today in church the Poet quoted studies that claim the average person complains 53 hours out of each year! FIFTY THREE HOURS!!! Wow! That caught my attention. And truth be told, being a bit of an over achiever in this area, I'm probably above average on this accomplishment. What a complete waste.
That eye opening information goes well with what I've been reading - I Second That Emotion by Patsy Clairmont. Patsy is one of my favorite people. She has such lively wit and just when she has me chuckling she comes in with a profound thought to cause me to pause and think a deeper thought. I Second That Emotion comes with a DVD that is made up of a collection of snippets from Patsy's presentations over the years. Each one helps to make the point presented in the study guide at the back.
I've been moving along pretty quickly until I read chapter 6. This chapter is about Abigail. Abigail was a woman of Old Testament times. Abigail is described as being intelligent and beautiful. I love that scripture lists that she was intelligent first. And Abigail was married to Nabal. I'm pretty sure if you looked the word Jerk up in Webster, you'd find Nabal's name listed there. Choosing to marry Nabal might have been Abigail's most unintelligent decision. Of course, in those times, she may have not had a choice. You can read Abigail's story in 1 Samuel 25:2 - 42. Patsy makes note of the fact that Abigail was ready for the unexpected. Her pantry was stocked and her character was equipped for the unexpected.
There is so much more in the book and you would be blessed by reading it. But here is my condensed version of what Patsy lists as the much desired traits Abigail held.
Dignity - Dignity can manifest itself in many ways. In this context it reveals itself in the action of following one's own calling.
Discernment - Learning from our mistakes and from watching the example of godly people .... perhaps lowering that 53 hours to 26 for next year.
Intelligence - There are many ways to show intelligence. Patsy highlights the intelligence to apply God's Word to our actions and our spoken words.
Self-Control - Choosing balance in all areas of our lives. This is a big one for me. How many times over the years have I heard the Lord whisper to me Balance, Elizabeth, Balance.
Preparedness - The most effective way to be prepared for anything is with the fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control.
Fortitude - The prerequisite to fortitude is a decision to be faithful to our God and to our faith no matter what comes our way.
Patience - Patsy refers to the quietness of waiting on God, His wisdom and His timing.
Humility - Patsy says, "this is the inner strength to serve with grace."
Rather than hurry on to the next chapter, I think I'll spend a little time with Abigail, reading her story and researching a bit. I think she has something to offer me.
Patsy says, "It is a choice to rejoice."
Today I am choosing to rejoice rather than complain.