Sometimes I astonish myself. You wouldn’t believe how neat and orderly my pantry is. How clean and well-stocked. All the canned fruit is on one end of a shelf, all the canned beans and olives on the other. Cereal boxes are lined up with spares behind. The canisters holding flour and sugar are full, and free of dust and fingerprints. The floor gleams, with nary a crumb or broken chip in sight.
It’s all the more impressive because 1) I have a lot of editing to do today, and 2) we have around 30 people coming for a BBQ tomorrow night. The sensible, responsible thing to do would have been either 1) to sit down at my computer and start rearranging words and rewording sentences, or 2) to clean the bathroom, then run the vacuum around the living room.
In my on-again, off-again series on God’s “Steps to Success” (found in 2 Peter 1:3, 5-8), I’ve been meaning to write about self control for some time, but I never knew quite how to approach the topic. Yes, in Peter’s list, “self-control” comes after knowledge—first we need to know the right thing to do, and then we need to follow through and actually do it! But how does this affect my day-to-day life?
Then last month something happened that turned this from an intellectual exercise into a personal issue.
Though Pete was out of town, I still planned to attend a special Christian concert about twenty minutes away. To get there, I had to pass through a rural area with no street lights. Since my night vision is less than optimal, I arranged a ride with another couple.
Thursday is September 30, which just happens to be Pete’s and my “engage-a-versary.” Yup, thirty-two years ago this week, my husband and I got engaged. It didn’t quite go like in the movies. In fact, we more or less got engaged that day by accident.
Mind you, we were already planning to get married. We’d been talking about it since spring. Pete had even formally proposed that summer—in a field of wildflowers on the slopes of Washington’s Mt. Rainier. We had then asked my best friend if she’d be my maid of honor, as she was moving out of state and I wanted to talk to her in person. But the engagement wasn’t official, and we hadn’t talked to anyone else.
Wanting to honor his parents, Pete called to ask them for their advice—what sorts of things should we be considering in making this very important decision? He particularly wanted to give his dad a chance to express his opinion. His dad was noted for having strong opinions when his offspring were considering marriage.