Don’t Go Down the Rabbit Hole of Anger

“Control your temper for anger labels you a fool.”  Ecclesiastes 7:9

People in the world seem quick to anger.  There are situations where having a cool head is better than being a hot-head.  Yet, people exhibit explosive anger over everyday mishaps or misunderstandings.

A week ago, I went to the mall in the evening to return an item.  I began to smell the aroma of the food court and decided, I need pizza now!   I walked over to the pizza place.  After I placed my order, I sat down at a table nearby.  

I began to hear a person yelling and using foul language.  There was a young mother, holding her child’s hand and she was yelling at an employee.  She began to slam down her belongings on the counter and pointing at the man’s face.  I thought, she was too petite to be so aggressive. She stormed off with her child and brought her over 6 foot tall, muscular,  tatted up husband.  He began yelling at the employee too.

This employee remained calm.  His co-worker, another young woman, was visibly shaking with fear.  The man started knocking over items on the counter and the caution pylon on the floor and telling the crowd behind him that this place was closed until he got what he wanted.  

I walked over to the pizza place and told them to get security or call the police, because it didn’t look like it would end well.   I wasn’t privy to the conversation of what started the initial argument.  One can speculate what happened, but no one will truly know.  But I knew it looked bad on the part of the couple.  

My order was ready and I got out of there as quickly as possible. I got into my car and took a deep breath.  I thought, “that couple lost their minds at Hot Dog on a Stick!  They looked so bad!”  Then, I heard the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit say, “you’ve done that too and it is foolish.”

A few weeks before that incident, I was driving in the neighborhood around my daughter’s school.  I park behind the school because there are less crowds.  After I parked my car, I walked towards the school and noticed a woman walking her dogs and she was giving me some serious stink eye. I didn’t  know her at all.  

There was a dance at the school that night and we decided to help out.  My daughter walked with her friends to the multipurpose room and I got back in my car alone and drove towards the front of the school.  As I was driving down one of the residential streets, this same woman, was now walking down the middle of the street towards my car.  I had to literally stop my car for her to pass me.  She yells at me “slow down b–!” I yelled back at her “what the he–?!  I am going 15 miles an hour, you shut the “ f” up!”  and drove off.

“How dare she say that to me?”  I hate being accused of something that I didn’t do.  My emotions were in overdrive.  I kept thinking of all these things to say and thought about driving around to look for her.  Really?  What is the point?  It took me hours to calm down.

She was probably tired of people speeding around the neighborhood and decided to speak up. I just didn’t like her tone.  Regardless, there was no reason for me to lose my mind.

The enemy loves to give us interactions of conflict with people.  No one wants to be civil or apologize, everyone wants to be right even if they are not.  We act like this and our children or loved ones see us and think this must be the way to deal with things.   Every situation we are in does not have to end up in “fight or flight” mode.

There are times, it will be necessary to have an angry reaction.  However, my hope is that I chose to respond calmly and not sin from my anger.  Rage doesn’t look good on anybody.

Lesson Learned: Collect one’s thoughts before responding to a difficult situation. And sometimes we have to be like Elsa from “Frozen” and “let it go”.

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for being in a rage over insignificant things.  Holy Spirit control my thoughts and calm me down before responding.  Remind me how we are the hands and feet of Jesus and a light for the world.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

 

One Day (or hour or minute) at a Time

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.” Matthew 6:34

Jesus instructs us not to worry. Yet, this world is full of anxiety. All that we see in the world, in our country or even on a city level, seem tense. However, all of this worrying does not add one moment to our life.

There have been many nights where I lay awake. My thoughts over power my sleepiness. I think how I could have handled something better or how my family and I could be healthier. The downward spiral gets deeper and longer. Now, I am awake 2 hours instead of 2 minutes.

I have never personally been in a 12 step program, but I have heard the term “one day at a time”. There was a fictional show I was watching on tv and the main character had a traumatic experience. She was telling someone who was dealing with anxiety, her way of coping. She explained how getting through one day was so much, that she had to get through just 10 seconds, then another and another.

It sounds funny but sometimes you can only muster the strength to get through a short period of time to strengthen yourself for the next amount of time. And that is okay. God knows our story. He wants to swoop us up in His loving arms and carry our burdens.

We can rest in the fact God will help us in our situation,  if we let Him. God doesn’t always give us an instant miracle, it can take days, months, years. So, living one day at a time is better than living our lives in the future.

Lesson Learned: Let us be present and live for today.

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I surrender all to you!  Give me strength for this journey.  You know my every need and desire.  Holy Spirit, guide me through difficult times and instruct us.  Give me your peace.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”