I hope that you've been alerted to all my personal victories in life over the last few weeks.
There was the way that I managed to force my way in front of the car beside me when the road went from three lanes to two after the lights at Hinckley Wood. I love driving a van!
Then a number of occasions when I've accused my children of doing something and they've denied it. But I have been proved right in the end!
I've had a number of major victories in the area of the dish washer. As the only one in our family appears to know how to stack it in the morally correct way, I am forced to give other family members regular and very clear training on this issue. Do they listen? Do they heck! This means that I have to make a point of showing them all the crockery that is still dirty after the machine has run, because they didn't leave sufficient gaps. Sometimes I don't verbalise my victory. I just sigh loudly as I place the plate down heavily beside the sink.
Last night I scored a win in the cupboard stacking competition. I was able to demonstrate that the way that the plastic cups had been placed was both in efficient and potentially dangerous. I could have been bruised (well slightly) if they had hit me when they fell out as I opened the door!
If it sounds a bit like the film "Sleeping with the Enemy", don't worry, we've not even got close to murder yet.
It's amazing how life is filled with a set of little battles, that are very emotionally significant at the time. Occasionally God opens my eyes to how stupid this is.
He did so this morning as I read about the battle between Rachel and Leah. They were the two wives of Jacob in the book of Genesis. In many ways their heartache and conflict was far more serious than the trivia that I get stressed about. Jacob has been tricked into marrying Leah when he loved the beautiful Rachel. But Leah could have children, whereas Rachel couldn't. The result was "Battle of the Kids". With both women bringing their servant girls into play, so that they could up their claimed productivity.
The names they gave their children in Genesis 30 shows the nature of their hearts:
Leah and her maid had: Reuben="He has seen my misery", Simeon="He has heard me!", Levi="He's attached to me!" (Jacob that is), Gad="What good fortune" (I've got more kids than you), Asher= "I'm happy" (You're not!), Issachar="Reward", Zebulun="Honour" (That's how Jacob treats me!).
Rachel and her maid had: Dan= "He has vindicated me.", Naphtali= "struggle" (She literally she's "I've had a great struggle with my sister and I have won!"), Joseph="may he add" (Because I want another!).
It's a tragedy of dysfunctional family. Because life isn't about winning. Genesis shows us that life is about knowing the Lord who loves you.
We're studying 1 John at church at the moment. John writes, "And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son." (1 John 5:11) Throughout his letter John is very clear that life is about giving in love to others, because you know that you are loved by God through His Son the Lord Jesus. Apparently it's not about winning. It's not even about being able to stack the dishwasher correctly!