Thursday, June 11, 2009

Getting Steamed

I wish I was referring to some sort of spa treatment when I titled this post "Getting Steamed," but as you can tell from my little graphic, that's not what I'm talking about. Lately I've been thinking a lot about anger. When I was younger I didn't really struggle with anger at all. I was always too afraid to get mad. If I got mad at someone they might get mad back & then what would I do??? With age has come some (at least a little) emotional maturity & confidence. That confidence is totally due to the realization that the Lord loves me & He considers me valuable. But with all of that, comes the ability to get angry. It hasn't happened all of a sudden, but little by little I've been more comfortable with speaking my mind & letting others know I'm mad. And sometimes I'm MAD. Yesterday 'grumpy' would have been too nice of a word to describe my attitude. Ever just wake up some days with a furrow on your brow & angry eyes? That's how I woke up yesterday. Then I walked into work & the a/c was back on. And the thermostat was set to 62 degrees. That makes me ANGRY. And then all the guys wanted to tease me about being cold & blah, blah, blah. Sometimes I feel like I am working with 7 younger brothers - so annoying!
But here is the worst part - I failed to let the Holy Spirit 'renew a right spirit in me.' Stubbornly I held onto my funk (even sending Mike kinda un-nice text messages) all the way through my long work day. I'm ashamed now. I was convicted & I hardened my heart against it. Didn't I have a right to feel angry? I freeze to death at work all day, my dad won't come to my wedding, I'm tired, I haven't been able to go running, I want surgery to fix my stubbornly un-perfect body (yeah, that's how far off the mark my thoughts can go in one day if left unchecked), & so on. After work I got to see Mike for a while & he really helped me get straightened out. Seriously I don't know how he puts up with me some days...
I'm so grateful that the Lord forgives me of such stupidity, cleanses my heart, refreshes me with His Word, & gets my spirit right. When there is a twist in my attitude that puts me cross-ways with God, there is nothing more painful. Where would I be without His forgiveness & love? I'm so grateful that His faithfulness is not dependent upon my faithfulness.
Lately at my second job there has been some very tense interactions with customers. As a result of the new computer system we have been slower filling scripts; we have made some mistakes; some special items haven't gotten ordered on time. Add all of those difficulties to the normal difficulties of out-of-stock items, no refills remaining gotta wait for the doctor to call, too soon to fill, & insurance problems that we have on a daily basis, & you have a recipe for disaster. And I have discovered something - people are angry. Yeah sure, you see people walking around the grocery store or mall & they seem harmless enough, but as soon as you tell them they might have to wait for something or they might have to pay for something then presto! chango! you've got a meanie on your hands. It scares me. I had realized when I first went back to work in a retail environment that most people lack common courtesy (which is a TRAGEDY). But the fact that many people feel it is completely acceptable to yell in a public place in the face of a total stranger who is trying to serve them, really blows my mind. One night it was so bad that one of the pharmacists & I were in the back corner of the pharmacy crying. And the customer didn't care one bit. I think she was strangely satisfied that we were so upset.
I'm so grateful that I have the Lord to help me with my anger (and all of my other emotional issues, heehee). If not, I could totally be one of those Mt. Vesuvius people - ready to erupt & destroy at any moment.

I pray that the Lord would help me obey this verse...

"Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God."
James 1:19b-20


Karis said...

I completely understand your post. I have so had those days where one thing started out as the straw that broke the camels back and then everything after that was more difficult than it should've been. I never knew how angry of a person I was capable of being until I had children. Of course, it's not my children's fault. The anger (and in my case usually selfishness too) was deep in my heart but hadn't gotten jostled enough to be spilled over yet. As I read through your post, it made me reflect on my own journey of sanctification and how circumstances come in my life that show me ways I need to be more Christlike when I don't make the right choice. Thank you for your transparency in sharing. That verse was a great reminder for me today.

Adele said...

Good post, Mare! I apprecaite your honesty. I never thought I was an angry person until after I got married, and even more, after we had kids. I have come to realize it can be a real struggle for me.

I read a great book entitled, "Hurt People Hurt People" by Sandra Wilson. It is a good read for a number of reasons - personal change, counseling, and understanding those around you.

Heidi said...

Mary Ann, you are always a blessing to me, and this post in no exception. Thank you for sharing your heart. I, too, struggle with this area. Recently I woke up in a funk, and the whole morning was horrible all because I was unwilling to change my attitude. Thank you for eluding to the verse about God renewing a right spirit in me. I have that verse written out and posted above my kitchen sink. I usually apply that in an overall kind of way rather than to a specific problem. Thank you for helping me to see where I need to improve.

Mrs.T said...

This is my first visit to your blog (came over from Life on a Back Road) and I must just say that this post was exactly what I needed to read this morning!

We have been dealing with a very serious, difficult trial for over a year. There are some seriously angry people (who don't know the Lord) in this trial. As time has gone on it's been more and more difficult not to get angry back at them. This morning I was feeling so challenged by this and actually asked the Lord, "What am I supposed to *do*?"

And here in this post is the answer to that. A familiar verse, but such an important reminder to me today. Thank you so much for sharing!

God bless,