Sunday, July 24, 2011

Anger it only hurts you.

A few years ago I was checking out at Target and the checkout girl was a mass of seething anger. Since no one was behind me I asked her “Are you Ok?”  She poured out her story of anger and frustration to me.  When it was all done, I looked her straight in the eye and said “Let your anger go, it is only hurting you.” She was astonished; it was obvious she had never thought about anger quite like that before.  I asked her some introspective questions. “Does your friend get all hepped up when she see you? Is her face all red because you walk in the room?  Who is the one getting upset here, her or you? You need to forgive her and let it go!”    She was dumbfounded. I could see her processing this nugget of wisdom God had pounded into my head so many times.
When I look at my own life and all the things I get angry about.  Let’s see I cloth them in these words:
                I’m feeling misunderstood, or they hurt my feelings.
                I was right, don’t they see that?
                If they had done it the way I know how, it would be done already. 
But at the heart of these things is: My Pride and My Selfishness and My Superiority.  Then God swoops down and holds a mirror up to my life. All my resentments, anger and pride crumbles into a heap of conviction.  Then I must let whatever “it” is go.  As yet again I realize I am a sinful mess that is only saved by God’s Grace.  
It’s strange how often it is the little things that get us all hepped up.  Then we hold on to it, nurture it, talk to our friends about it, replay it over and over in our minds.  When what we need to do is give it to God. I know some people call it “putting it on the alter”, But in my mind I have always seen The Father as I see my own father. Someone I can go to, sit in His lap and dump all my problems on.  I have a childlike conviction, He can fix it. Many times I don’t like the task he gives me to fix it. Just like any child who has messed up.  James 4:6 has been one of my life verses  “But he gives greater grace. Therefore it says ‘God opposes the proud but he gives grace to the humble.’”  Humility is often the only key you need to make a relationship work.
As I talked to the checkout girl I could see her processing what I had told her.  She decided then and there to forgive her friend. She said I’ll do it! All my other friends will be mystified but I’m going to be the “adult” in this situation.  As she forgave, I saw her filled with such joy and freedom that comes from letting ourselves out of the prison anger creates in us.

On the home front, I was so discouraged last month I wrote to my friend Anne who gave me such pearls of wisdom. Thank you Anne for your wisdom.  I had been struggling with A’s progress because all I could see was one tree in the forest.  Her evaluation was last week and I was feeling inadequate, and selfish.  This whole attitude of: I want my life back. When will therapy end? Is it doing any good?  Are we really making progress?
Then I saw A swim in a cross body patterned movement. This is a fancy way of saying her right leg and left arm move in unison to make a perfect swimming stroke.  I hadn’t seen that before in swim class!  Then God sent M and others to tell me how much different A is these days.  And then she had her evaluation. Altho she is still stuck in in her reading comprehension, she has made huge leaps in social skills, and math has come up to the 5th grade level.  So we still have things we need to work on but Yes therapy is working!

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