I have a list of 26 character traits that I have studied in the Bible and written about, and I take one of them each week and focus on it, examining my life more carefully in that area and making a concerted effort to grow stronger in that character trait. I get through the list twice each year.  It always amazes me how God cooperates with my focus each week. Last week the character trait that I was going to focus on was self-control.

Two weeks ago I bought a 1975 Johnson outboard motor that is 135 horsepower for $100, with the goal of rebuilding it, and having a nice running higher horsepower motor for my 20 foot pontoon boat. It presently has a 40 horsepower motor on it and it goes like a slug, especially when I get a bunch of grandkids on it. I have never rebuilt an outboard motor before so I thought it would be fun to learn how. I watched several hours of YouTube on how to rebuild an outboard motor, bought an engine manual for my engine, ordered all new bearings, gaskets, and rings, and started on the project.

As I got into the engine I discovered that it was quite rusty, and in tearing it down I broke off a number of bolts. Each time I would feel the bolt snap as I was trying to take it out my my body temperature would instantly go up, and the urge to throw the wrench and say an expletive was very high. Self-control got even harder as I drilled into the piece of the bolt left and attempted to get it out with an “easy out”. I usually take Monday’s off and so decided to get a bunch of work done on the motor project today.  After 30 minutes I decided to go down to my office and work instead.  This week the character trait is patience, and it was way easier to be patient sitting in my office writing letters.

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