At first I didn't move, waiting to hear a reaction, and then I heard Nathan's "Uh oh" and realized that my nap was not to be.
My immediate reaction to this interruption was relief that I was there to be able to help Nathan with whatever had just happened in the kitchen. I hopped up, ran into the kitchen where I saw half a jug's worth of cranberry juice on the floor, and flew into action, cleaning it while at the same time reassuring Nathan that I was just glad that the jug had been plastic instead of glass, thus preventing someone from getting hurt. I then walked out of the kitchen with the juice-sopped towels, thankful that instead of wasting an hour napping, I would now be able to mop the floor and do some other chores around the house.
The real life scenario looked a little more like this. I heard the crash. I didn't want to move. I heard Nathan, and I still didn't want to move, but realizing it would be impossible to get to sleep at this point, I dragged myself up. I slowly walked into the kitchen, where I stood staring at the pools of juice on the floor, and I concentrated on keeping my mouth shut, so as to prevent something less than uplifting from coming up. I turned, slowly again, to go get another towel. I slowly, slow enough to even stop and look at an email on my computer, returned to the kitchen and helped clean the remainder of the juice. I then thought about mopping, but instead made myself a chai, and sat down on a chair to commiserate my lost nap.
And that, my friends, is what my gut level reaction to an interrupted nap really looks like. It's not pretty. In fact, as I sat here, I began to think about how far removed I am from true unselfishness. Sure, I love to help my kids and my husband, and I enjoy doing things for them, but only as long as it doesn't interfere with what I had in mind for myself. Which of course, falls a little short of the definition of truly considering others before myself.
That got me thinking about what true unselfishness would really look like. It's so foreign to me, that it's difficult to truly comprehend the idea of people caring more for others than for themselves. I can imagine it happening for a few hours of volunteer work, or for special occasions like birthdays or mother's day, but every day, all of the time? That's another story.
Jesus talked so much about this idea. He knew that it doesn't come naturally, yet being fully human, He did it. He is our only model of living a truly unselfish life. And what did He tell us? He said to love others as we love ourselves. Give to those who are in need. Spend time caring for orphans, widows, and the poor. Forgive. Do everything with a cheerful heart. All of these things speak of what an unselfish nature would look like.
What's even harder for me to believe, is that through Jesus and the power of the Spirit, all of these things, eventually, can become my first nature. As evidenced by the spilled juice incident, I'm not quite there =). But I believe God's word when it tells me that through Jesus, we can live the life He wants for us. I believe, as hard as it is to fathom, that someday, that imaginary reaction I described could very well be my own, and if it is, it will be nothing but a testimony to how great God's power is to change those who believe in Him from the inside out.
Believe me, that's what I want. Am I beating myself up about it? No. I realize that I make mistakes, and many of them, every day. I also realize that God forgives me every time I ask Him, no matter how repetitive and frequent that asking might be. But what I'm saying is that God's word tells us that the longer we walk through this process of sanctification, the more we look like Jesus. And the more I look like Jesus, the less the spilled juices of the world will be able to throw me into a disgruntled funk. I know it's a process that happens over a lifetime, not overnight, so one day at a time, hopefully getting closer each day to looking more like Jesus and less like me.