...to spend it angry!
The past several days have been a roller coaster ride for me. Much anger has been present as I observed the critical and cruel actions of certain people. Those actions have hurt some of my friends…thus, the anger in me. I hate seeing hurt in any of my friends. I especially hate seeing hurt inflicted upon them for no good reason. It appears a couple of my friends have become the target of someone’s campaign to crush their dreams, apparently out of jealousy. A separate incident involved one of our family friends who received the proverbial “kick in the teeth” when he was already down. This last incident will send ripples of demoralization throughout many of our friends as the hypocrisy of this organization we’re involved with is brought to a stark light. Politics…I hate politics!! Have I ever mentioned that before?!
I had just recovered from the first incident when the second one hit. I am so tired of it all. I am disillusioned. : (
And then…then I hear it…soft and gentle like a cool breeze on a summer’s day that makes me stop and raise my face to the sunshine, breathing in the peace that sinks deep into my soul.. The gentle whisper of my Lord... "I am here. I am still in control. I have you.” Oh how I needed to hear these words after such ugliness displayed by some of those near and along my path this past week. I needed to hear that everything is not out of control…even if the entire world goes mad…my God has me. My foundation is secure. : )
Last night I was able to speak on the phone with the wife of our friend who has been so badly treated. She was understandably upset at this recent turn of events, but also had an interesting and encouraging perspective to share with me. Her soothing words were good to hear.
Then this morning….what a ride of contradiction within a couple of hours! The morning dawned fair…but along my route there was an incredibly dense fog. I could see the sun trying to break through this WHITE all around me as I maneuvered my truck along the narrow country road. The fog dissipated a little, enough to allow me to see a tractor ahead of me going slow. Usually this would be a bit frustrating for me...but today we had left a little early (technically on time…LOL) and we had time to spare. This road is quite narrow and it was the widest tractor I have seen yet over here…definitely no room for passing…so I just matched my pace to his and tried to spot the lovely things that can sometimes be seen when you are forced to slow down. : ) It wasn’t very long before he started to turn, but then didn’t. He pulled in to someone's driveway just enough so that I could pass him. I waved a thank you as I passed him and marveled at this unexpected kindness. What a lovely thing to do. : )
Not five minutes later, I find myself in a similar position, stuck behind another tractor, this one not as large nor the road as narrow…but my truck is a left hand drive…so I could not see around him to view the oncoming lane. I had to stay put…meandering along at a 25mph pace on a 60mph road. We were still good on time, and my heart was still feeling light because of the other farmer’s kindness. I was content. Have you already guessed what happened next? Again…I was surprised by this tractor pulling aside at his first opportunity to allow me (and the string of cars that had accumulated behind) to pass. This is not a completely unheard of thing…but it is not the usual custom around here. And to have this happen for me twice in so short a time…that is a rare occurrence! : ) My heart was singing in harmony to the music on my radio as I continued on my way, saying a silent prayer of blessing for these two strangers who bestowed such unexpected kindness on myself and others this sunny morning.
Sunny morning? Yes, because, by the time I had gotten to the end of my twelve mile journey, the sun was shining brightly, evaporating the remaining fog. It was an amazing start to my day…and I was so very thankful for the reprieve from the dark anger that had been brewing.
Yet, there were more lessons to be learned this day…as I repeated my journey in the afternoon, on my way home from picking up my children and stopping to buy groceries, part of my usual route was blocked. I had to take a different road, a longer route home. I had a bad feeling about that change. The road was blocked by police and I knew another accident had happened. Last week a man was killed on that curvy, narrow country highway when two lorries collided. I thought about all the recent troubles I had experienced/witnessed and somehow, these things seem so much smaller when faced with the reality of how quickly our life on this earth can come to an end. Were injustices carried out? Absolutely! But these friends of mine are alive…and with every breath they take they know enough to appreciate the immeasurable treasures they have in their families and other blessings bestowed upon them. They can look themselves in the mirror and be thankful that, unlike the ones who caused the hurt, they know they would never treat another human being with such disregard (a thought a friend shared with me). And in the end, I know their lives will be much sweeter as their paths take unexpected twists and turns because of the knowledge of Truth they possess and the Love that lives in their hearts.
I have no doubt that there will be more injustices observed and experienced along my life journey. Anger will rear its ugly head again. It’s what I do with that anger that is important. When I can act to correct the things that are wrong, I know I must do so. But when I can’t, and the anger simmers and seethes, I need to be sure to deal with it quickly, turning it over to my Lord…who, in the end, will take care of the justice part. Anger held onto and cherished in the heart is a breeding ground for bitterness. And bitterness robs us of the joy of life…turning once happy people into a pessimistic, sarcastic lot who can hold no joy in their hearts and who, eventually, cannot stand to see anyone else experiencing joy. They become negative and bitter and closed off from the light of love. It’s a sad and lonely road…with no good ending. I do not want to travel that road. I am thankful for the “roundabouts” that have helped me turn off from it when I have allowed anger to linger too long. : )
Yes, life is too short to harbor such things for long. There is so much joy to know, happiness to experience, and love to share! : )