Here’s a scenario most of us with chronic physical and/or emotional issues can relate to: you’re swimming in pain—physical, emotional or BOTH—yet have decided to grace the day with your blessed presence. You’re out-n-about town, takin’ care of business, on one of those sunny days you feel blessed to have the strength to get your lethargic backside off the couch. You’re struggling, yes, but you’re gettin’-r-done, as the cable fixer-guy might say.
Then…BAM!…”it” happens? “What,” you ask? I don’t know, something to make your plans go askew. Your wife forgot to tell the drive-thru chick “no onions on the greasy megaburger,” your husband was so busy watching the “Man vs. Food” marathon he neglected to throw the clothes in the dryer (letting your red socks bleed all over your favorite white shirt), some phone-aholic was busy texting in heavy traffic and rear-ended you, your boss called you in to work on your first day off in three weeks…whatever. I will be the first to admit I don’t handle unexpected problems well at times. I have a set pattern my day is supposed to follow, and when things don’t go according to plan, my knee-jerk reaction is irritation.
I roll my eyes.
“Are you freaking kidding me?!” I’ve even been known to say.
In the grand scheme of things, that may score low on the “Villain’s Scale of Atrociousness,” but it’s still rude. It’s disheartening to the target of my annoyance.
Seems it takes a thousand encouraging words to ease the hurt of one exasperated sigh; one off-the-cuff insult. Despite what we tell ourselves, our particular issues never give us permission to hurt someone’s feelings.
There’s never an excuse for us to be less than our best.
As for me, I don’t wanna be “that guy.”
“Sir Crabby VonTacky, the Earl of Inconsideration.”
Here’s a poem I wrote and posted on my Facebook page, followed up by a couple Bible verses:
“I want to be an encouragement
Not a discouragement
I long to motivate
I want to lift people up
Not tear them down
I want to spread love
Not spew forth hate
I want to be the beautiful soul who lights a candle in someone’s darkness
Not the bitter one who uses darkness to vanquish someone’s inner light”
“Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do (Philippians 4:5a TLB, emphasis mine).”
“Remind the people to be submitted to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to slander no one, without fighting, gentle, showing every courtesy to all people (Titus 3:1-2 VOICE, emphasis mine).”
In a nutshell: “Lord, help not to be a jerk today,” a prayer I utter 7 to 13 times per day.
It starts with biting your tongue when you’re tempted to pop off to someone. Well, bite it ’till it’s bloody, I say. Don’t be “that guy.”
Cranky Hank, Prime Minister of Petulance.
You’re better than that.