Sleeve Notes 101: 05/28/2006 - 06/04/2006

Friday, June 02, 2006


So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit. - Galations 6:9 (the Message)

In a world where everything seems transitory, it is easy I think to give up when things get a little rocky. Perhaps that's why we see over half of marriages end in divorce or why we see relationships come and go on a whim. Not that dissolving a union is particularly easy, because there are a lot of emotions wrapped up in the process, but it is definitely easier to just walk away than it is to put in the enormous amount of work required to make something work.

I'm going through one of those rocky places in my relationship. I could lay out all the reasons for it and pin all the blame on the other side because that would be the easy way out. There are those who might feel that this would be the perfect time to walk away because the other party in this little relationship of mine is not acting particularly worthy of my love and devotion. Certainly it is difficult not to be in agreement with them, particularly when there is behavior that feeds my own insecurities and weaknesses.

On the other hand, I've been given an example that most people in our society don't have. That is the example of my parents, who for nearly 38 years have managed to keep a healthy, strong relationship in tact. When you see them together they make it look so simple. Best friends they are. And yet the smiles, laughter and true friendship one witnesses when they are around them don't tell the whole story. There was the incredible struggle during the first year of their marriage that nearly killed the whole deal. And the time when my mother's nerves literally sent her into a shell, leaving my dad to cope with an incredibly difficult travel schedule coupled with two small kids. Several years ago it really hit home how much they've had to work to maintain what they've got. As we sat around a table one morning, mom very honestly shared with me how she had told my dad that unless he made some changes she wouldn't be able to stay. It shook him up enough to be able to admit that he had become withdrawn and needed a reminder that my mom was his best friend. This month they will celebrate 38 years of marriage and they still are each other's best friends.

Most people today don't have such an amazing example of working together, through the hard stuff, that I do. Most people have in their history fine examples of walking away when the going gets tough. The more I've thought about this, the more I realize that if you love someone and believe in what you've got, then you have to fight for it. Sometimes even when you are the only one fighting. It doesn't mean living defeated and beaten down either. Loving oneself is paramount to any relationship and I'm learning that the more care and attention I give to myself, the more care and attention I can give to those I love most.

As I kissed my other half good night last evening, Galations 6:9 flashed into my head. I can't allow myself to get tired because at the "right time" there will be something good to show for it. I can't guarantee that statement, but I also know that I can't allow myself to think be all dramatic and say "woe is me!" I've got to remember that all things work together for good. Sometimes it's hard to see that when you are in the middle of it and so it's good to be reminded that though there are struggles and extremely difficult hurdles to be crossed, they are part of life. And if I really believe that there will be a payoff, then I can't allow myself to quit just yet.

Sometimes life throws us curves and how we deal with those curves shapes who we become. I've had moments in my past where I took the easy way out. It's made me lazy in my thinking. But if something is worth having, then it is worth fighting for and right now, I've made a decision not to get tired...because at the right time I'll get mine!