Last night the Kansas City Royals (WOO HOO) played the Los Angeles Angels (UGH!). By the way, no bias in this post at all. The Royals were behind by 2, and it was the bottom of the 7th inning. They had a guy on first and a guy on 2nd. There was a brand new player who came up to bat (Sorry, I don’t remember his name!). He bunted. The throw to first should have been an easy out, but the throw missed. the guy on first, and the guy on second both made it home. They bunter slid into third, and then there was another bad throw, and the third baseman missed it. He stood up to run, and changed his mind. He might have made it home. Imagine getting a home run out of a bunt!!! He would have put the Royals on top. As it was, they were tied. Why didn’t he run? Because he was focused on the “end game”. There were no outs, and he was in a position to score on any hit, or a bad throw or anything. It was, strategically, the right decision.
This player, rookie player, first hit in the majors (imagine the accolades of making a home run on a bunt on your first hit in the major leagues), was focused on the “end game”. He didn’t appear to be focused on himself, or his glory. Getting home right now wasn’t his main goal. He was focused on the whole game, all 9 innings, and his team winning at the end of those 9 innings, not right now. As I said, he was focused on the “end game.”
Wouldn’t our marriages, even our whole families be better if we focused more on the “end game”, instead of the right now. How many times has your spouse aggravated you. You are ticked. They did it again. In those brief couple of minutes you have determined that they don’t love/respect you, or they wouldn’t have done it. They probably hate you, and are out to get you. At the very least, they are stupid, incompetent, in their own little world, selfish, self absorbed, etc. And, it is your job to tell them so. And you do.
Just a quick question. Has that ever turned out good for either one of you? My guess is no. At least in our home, it usually ends up in a very defense fight. What if we approached those annoyances with the end game in mind. And, that may be where the rub comes in for many people. What is the end game? Well, I would argue the end game of our marriage would be to glorify God. We do this by sanctifying each other to be more and more in the image of Christ. Another good goal (it may not be the end, end game, but it is a good end game), is to be happily married 10 years from now. It might be to work to help your spouse serve Christ better. Another might be to love as Christ loved. All of these are good “end game” plans.
So, next time they bug you, instead of reacting, putting them in their place, elevating yourself, trying to make a point, showing them how wrong they are, why don’t we focus on the “end game”.
Maybe that means ignoring it. What if your spouse were to die today? Would that thing really still be that big a deal? Maybe God, instead of working on your spouse, is using your spouse to sanctify you. Maybe God is teaching you to serve, quietly and without complaining.
Maybe it means, gently, lovingly talking to your spouse. Tell them all the wonderful things about them, and mention how important it is to you that this one thing be addressed. Then, let it go, let the Holy Spirit work.
Maybe it means that you take it to God in prayer. Maybe there is nothing you feel like you can do, let God work in that person’s heart. If we believe in a Sovereign God who cares about the little things too, I assure you, he cares about the thing that bugs you. His solution may be different, but he cares.
Maybe it means learning to praise the good things your spouse does more.
The list could go on and on, but the point is, are you thinking about getting things now, or are you focused on the end game?
Incidentally, the guy who bunted did get home later that inning, putting the Royals in the lead, and, once again, after coming from behind, the Royals won the ballgame!!!!!!