It had been almost a perfect vacation at the cabin. The temperatures had been warm enough to our liking, except for the few days of smoke that covered the skies and the smoky smell that hindered breathing. Once the smoke from the forest fires cleared, we had the most pleasant, comfortable temperatures to enjoy for a few weeks.
My husband and I would sit on the deck drinking in the lake view and enjoying the rhythm of the waves as they lapped the shore. The peace and tranquility of the neighbourhood kept us focused on the next step. What would be our life after we leave this place? A decade had passed. Our ‘Oasis’ would be no more! The new owners would find their way to celebrate the beauty and magnificence along this part of Lake Superior.
A season for everything.
Though it had been our hiding place, we knew that for everything, there is a season. Our season at the cabin had ended. We can look at it from a negative perspective or from a more positive one. Do we mourn the loss of something we’ve enjoyed? Or rejoice that God had done it again? Allowed us to move on, thanking him for his goodness. I choose the latter.
Argue about a party
One evening, as we soaked in the moment’s stillness, my husband pointed his finger across the bay. He stood near the dock looking towards the houses. “Looks like people are having a party over there.” He whispers.
I lounged on the gravity chair but turned to look in the direction he had pointed. “I can’t see any people.” Didn’t hear anything either.
He repeated, “See, over there. There’s a large group by the house.” The area is mixed with seasonal cottages, or camps as we call them in northern Ontario, and large residences. Sometimes on a weekend friends or family gather to party, but usually it’s pretty quiet.
I stretched my neck because I didn’t feel like getting up. “No. I don’t see anyone. Where do you see people?” By this time, I had gotten a little annoyed.
“Can’t you see?” His voice a little louder. “You don’t believe me!”
What’s this got to do with anything about believing! “Of course, I believe what you’re seeing, but I just can’t see it. I see a red umbrella and bushes, but no people!”
We argued back and forth about a trivial issue. Finally, I arose and looked beyond the bushes. Sure enough, I saw a gathering outside on the deck and in the yard. If only my husband had mentioned the Canadian flag that stands tall and can be clearly seen from any direction, I would have seen it. But he didn’t do that.
We may see things differently from our viewpoints, but the facts don’t change. Only our perspective. What we believe about God comes from our own experiences and revelations. Is there anything obstructing your view? In my case, I could not see to the other side because the bushes were blocking my vision. Once I stood up, my vision cleared.
It’s the same way with our God. One may see him as a loving Father to be celebrated, but others may see him as a strict Father to be feared. Vision is imperfect even on a good day, but can change depending on the distance you’re from the object. So, if the distance between you and God seems far away, you can’t see the attributes of God clearly. Or if something is obstructing your view, we tell ourselves that He’s not there for you.
If we keep our focus in the right direction, we can see better.
What obstacles hinder your spiritual life? Is it lack of motivation to seek God? Or disappointments and unanswered prayers? It could be anything that keeps you from hungering for more of God.
It takes work to maintain a close marriage relationship like it takes effort to build a closer relationship with God. Just because we’ve been married a long time, it doesn’t mean we don’t have arguments, whether about small insignificant matters or more important issues. There is a healthy way to argue that doesn’t add blockages to healthy communication between couples.
Understanding is love. Silence speaks words of love.
It’s the little foxes that spoil the vine. Spoil a marriage. Our contention could have developed into a huge disagreement, (actually it did for a while) but when we respect one another, we can let it go. We could remain adversarial or become cooperative and try to see your spouse’s point of view.
The sun dropped behind the trees across the bay and the wind rippled the waters as we enjoyed each other’s company in contented silence.
Can you think of a time when minute arguments escalated? Was it easy to drop it? What are common hot button topics in a marriage that bring contention?