Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

05 July 2013

The best advice ever

There's lots of good advice out there.

Always eat breakfast.

When you do, rinse the leftover weetbix off the bowl before it sets like cement.

Stick the mobile phone that went through a cycle in the washing machine in a jar of rice to dry it out.  (Not sure if that goes for smart phones...I haven't graduated that far yet.  Actually, I don't think I have ever had to put a phone in a jar of rice...but I'm told it works.)

It's always important to use your manners.

Plan for it to work.

If you have been off work sick, come the afternoon of the day you think, "I am well enough to go back to work tomorrow", go to the supermarket and buy eight things from eight different aisles.  When you get home, if you have enough energy to put all eight items away as soon as get back, then you are well enough to go back to work.  If you need to sit/rest/have a nap first to recover from the shopping trip then you need another day off.

Speak less and listen more.
 
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But what is the best advice I have ever received? 

The best specific advice I have ever received was from a dear, trusted friend, just before our first son was born.  She said, "Five minutes is better than no minutes."  She was referring to Bible reading.  What?  Only five minutes?  But what great advice it turned out to be.  Because having a baby rocked my Bible reading world.  It isn't that mums of new babies don't have time to read.  New mums don't lack time, but what they do lack is a) the capacity to maintain that very wonderful routine of rising early and enjoying a long, uninterrupted quiet time and b) the capacity to concentrate for a long time.  Or even a short time really.  And it was truly good to have my friend's advice in my back pocket for the many times when I was tempted to think, "If I can't have a decent block of Bible reading time then it's just not worth even bothering."  Because it is worth bothering to read even a little bit of the Bible and five minutes is so much better than no minutes in that particular season of life when the big, hour long block just isn't going to happen.

That was advice for a specific time of life...and it was life saving advice. 

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The best, more general advice, I have ever received is this.  Always pray against bitterness.  When bitterness takes hold it escalates into all sorts of horribleness.  Often quickly.  So much can be avoided if bitter thoughts are nipped in the bud.  Bitterness due to some injustice - great or small.  Bitterness wrought of some slow, simmering annoyance.  Bitterness from feeling hard done by.  Bitterness because I am a sinner and prone to bitter thoughts.  I was glad to receive this advice many years ago.  I haven't always been so good at applying it.  But I always look upon it as the best advice I have ever received...and the best advice I would do well to heed. 

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble.
Hebrews 12:15.

4 comments:

Ali said...

I have let down the writing prompt business again, but, and I meant to come back and leave this comment earlier in the day, I did much appreciate yours, and particularly the shared advice of praying against bitterness ... so so true. I shall take it up at once!

Meredith said...

Thanks Ali.
Mx

Sarah said...

Thank you! I especially needed to hear the Bible reading bit at the moment. It's so true...I have some time but often not the mental capacity to do long, deep theological study at the moment. As for rising early, I find that going back to bed wins out after a rough night with Rory. I like Cathy's idea of 'morning tea and Bible time'. I find that works quite well for me right now.

Love the random advice, too - especially the one about whether you're ready to go back to work after sickness.

Meredith said...

Hi Sarah. I am so glad the Bible reading bit helped. It is such a quantum leap - quiet times with a new born from life before the baby. And it isn't the issue of time but the issue of capacity. But yes, just a little bit, if it does nothing else but keep us in the habit, is a good thing. The other sage advice that went with that - from another friend - was to recognize when that season was over before descending into laziness. But you are no where near there at the moment so don't even worry about it.

The work one came from a fellow teacher who had lots of good advice - but that one is especially useful and completely on the money.