Today begins the first day of The Imperfect Wives’ “Simplify Your Life” challenge!

We welcome you to join us as we put feet to Matthew 6:33 which says,

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all of these things will be given to you as well.”

Over the next two weeks, we will look at habits, behaviors, and attitudes that keep us from seeking first the kingdom of God.  We’ll investigate the downside of trying to take care of things ourselves instead of trusting God to take care of us, making things more complicated than necessary in the process.

Today, we’re going to talk about shenanigans.

shenanigans: secret or dishonest activity or maneuvering: silly or high-spirited behavior; mischief.

Shenanigans, for me, is a word that conjures up images of fun with no serious damage done.  A little bit of  silliness with a wink and a nudge.

Harmless enough, right?

Until it isn’t.

A few years ago I decided to join in some of the silliness and all-in-good-fun humor of my dear friends.  They had provided many moments of much-needed laughter with their antics.  While I enjoyed the fun, I was just an observer.

It was well-known in our circle that one friend was in the habit of leaving her keys in her vehicle while it was parked in the driveway.  It wasn’t a secret, either, that her husband was none-too-pleased with that practice and had tried to get her to change her ways, with no success.

One Friday evening, my friend and her family were down the street having dinner with some mutual friends.  Her husband suggested that having the vehicle “missing” when they got home might teach her to take her keys inside instead of leaving them in the van and he enlisted my help to execute that maneuver.

At the appointed time I ran out the door, down the street and around the corner to move her van to an empty driveway out of view of her home.

I chuckled to myself as I thought about my friend’s reaction to her empty driveway and the conversation that would ensue between she and her husband.

I parked the van and went back home.

That’s when the Holy Spirit began whispering in my ear.  He told me that it wasn’t my job to get between my friend and her husband as they worked out the details of the location of the keys.  The Lord also told me that it would change my relationship with my friend in ways that I wouldn’t like.

So, despite my desire to be the funny girl for a change, I got back in their van, parked it in their driveway, and left the keys in where I found them.

You can imagine her husband’s surprise that evening when they came home to find the van still in their driveway!

Although these shenanigans didn’t go off as we planned, we all still got a big laugh out of this situation…mostly because everyone thought it was so funny (and typical) that I couldn’t follow through with the scheme.

I learned a valuable lesson that day:  funny is fine, but don’t use shenanigans to try to get a point across or come between a husband and wife.

Proverbs 26:18-19 says this:

Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”

Today, ask the Lord if you’ve used shenanigans or joking in ways that complicate your life instead of creating simplicity.  If you have, repent and move forward with the resolve to keep your shenanigans under control.

Praying for all of us,