Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Anger (01/24/05)
TITLE: GET OUT OF THE WAY
By Marjorie Arrowood
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“You idiot! You signaled left and went straight. Then you cut in front of me on the right lane and flick me a bird?! YOU ARE AN IDIOT!! GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!”
A still small voice may whisper, “On the other hand, you are the one screaming at the top of your lungs in a vehicle with no passengers.” If it does, the boiling blood pounding past my eardrums provides enough camouflage that I don’t notice.
“Lady, can’t you read? It’s posted right there that the drive-thru should not be used for multiple transactions. Park your stinking Cadillac and waddle your fat butt into the dang bank and get out of the way!” The scream remains inside, but the trembling and twitching of my pursed lips clearly conveys my annoyance.
A still small voice may whisper, “If she were driving a beat up old Ford, would it be easier to think that she may be too sick to be out of bed, but faced with a crisis had to get to the bank anyway?” If it does, I’m too consumed with how this delay will affect the rest of my day’s plans to notice.
As we strive for positive productivity in a world full of conflicting agendas, it seems inevitable that anger will surface. So how do we deal with it?
If we are followers of Christ, there is only one place to look for examples. When and at whom did Jesus get angry? When and at whom did he not?
Consistently religious leaders who zealously obeyed the letter of the law but ignored the compassionate love of the lawgiver angered Jesus. The Pharisees were so intent on impressing one another with their piety that they had no desire for a relationship with God, which would allow them to be a blessing to the nations. That made Jesus angry.
Those who saw the longings of others as a way to make a profit for themselves angered Jesus. Jews from the entire world made their way to Jerusalem for Passover. For many it was either impossible or impractical to bring the required sacrificial animal and so a service had developed whereby animals could be bought closer to the temple. Over the years the service had become a fiercely competitive sales strategy that moved from nearby to closer and finally to within the temple, reducing the holy house of prayer to a noisy market. That made Jesus angry.
But Jesus did not get angry with people who caused him delays. Many times he tried to get alone with his followers so he could teach them the great truths they would need to turn the world upside down. Interruptions abounded, many of which annoyed his followers, but his patient handling of the interruptions fit into the great truths he was teaching.
Neither did Jesus get angry with those who insulted and injured him. From the cross he acknowledged the ignorance of his tormentors and forgave them.
I guess the still small voice could be loud and clear if I would get out of the way.
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