I had a really bad day yesterday.
Nothing bad happened per se, it’s just everything went wrong. It was a comedy of errors. I was a mistake magnet, and by 6 o’clock at night I had grown really tired and pissed off at the tumbleweeds that were blowing through my life and messing with everything.
Most people who know me think I am a very calm person, but I have my limits and my potential to snap. I think I said I wanted to punch a wall three times yesterday, and the first time was before 9:30 AM. Yet, unlike Amar’e Stoudemire, I can control the angry thoughts before acting on them (that poor fire extinguisher!). The fruit of the Spirit have wonderful effects, one of them is serious patience. So I calmed down, eventually.
We are reading through James as a family at night and we read this admonishment last night:
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
My ears perked up a bit as I read this. I got the message. I am constantly learning to be slow to anger, only to find out that once I have mastered a certain level of slowness that it can always be improved upon.
My prayer in my journal this morning was this:
I humbly ask
that you honor
that I may do
and be a participant
in true religion,
to see the orphan
and the widow supported.
We will all have bad days. Let our anger always be slow, and may we remember that there are far more important things than bad days and petty anger: the orphans and widows who deal with incomprehensible oppression each day. May we slow ourselves down long enough to be the Kingdom.