I wrote the other day about an attitude of sacrifice in the coming year. The presence of sacrifice validates leadership. The concept of sacrifice rings as true. The actual execution of the idea is scary.
My wife, Julie, needed to take a trip to visit her extended family. After working a long week, the prospect of spending an entire day in the car wasn’t particularly appealing to me. I was tired from the week of trials, meetings, negotiations and conflict. Julie knew that I would like to rest and offered to take the kids and go without me. While that was appealing at some level, it just wasn’t right. I needed to go with my family and serve my wife in that way with support during this time.
To be completely truthful, a couple of years ago I would have likely gone but there might have been a price to pay. I might have been irritable while I wasn’t getting my way as I focused on what I was losing. I might have complained or maybe just kept score in my own head. As such, it wasn’t service to my wife or family at all because I simply was not a willing, generous or joyful giver.
I realized this time, in the middle of the trip, that this was Right. There was incredible Peace and contentment in the sacrificial posture. The trip was good even when it wasn’t about me. There is Reward beyond ourselves when we step into the selflessness that requires faith and trust. Our instinct of self-protection and self-provision is a lie of our soul that serves as a hurdle to the fullness of our spirit.
For one of the clearest times in the ten years we have been married, I got it. It was the sweet spot of marriage and of life and it was found in the laying down of myself. It was still a long day but being at the right place at the right time is just Right. It’s a feeling that I want to remember for the times in the future when I am tempted to choose me over them.