Friday, March 18, 2011

Lenten Journal Day 9

So I just went to Walgreens to pick up a prescription, and I ran into a couple of women from my church. Forest Acres is just a small town tucked into one corner of Columbia. May I add that I was in old yoga pants a size or so too small, drugstore flip flops, and a decent t shirt complete with necklace to take the attention off my yoga (pajama) pants? I should have known I was going to run into at least one person. Anyway, while standing in the parking lot with these lovely ladies, we witnessed a wreck. It wasn't a bad one. A guy was pulling into a parking space when a woman in a neighboring car opened her door to get out. He hit her door, crunching it, and busted out a light on his car. He immediately bolted towards anger, repeatedly yelling at the woman and asking her, "Really???" She stood obviously a bit intimidated and shaken up that she had almost been run over. He never once saw any fault with himself, all the while appearing unstable and ranting about his headlight. Meanwhile she continued to stand there, unable to close her door, and trying to figure out how to better her situation. So, we walked over, and we suggested she call the police to file a report. He said there was no need, since she could pay for his light and that they were on private property, it being a parking lot and all.

We told her to call anyway. We were all thinking, "Umm, yeah, buddy, you're screaming at someone you almost ran over, so we can certainly understand why she would refuse help all the while agreeing to pay for your damaged light....come again?"

She was already dialing as he presented his convincing argument that no police be involved. Once she had an officer on that handy little cell phone, he got much quieter and went into the store to get his prescription. He wasn't my favorite character in this particular situation. But I can't judge him either.

Because, when I'm honest, how many times have I turned to anger, blinded by my part in a situation? How many times have I chosen being right over being civil? How many times have I defended my position rather than worked to solve a problem?

This entire morning reminds me of a definition of anger that I try to keep close when I feel frustration rising up.

Anger = Not getting my way

That guy's day was not going his way, that's for sure. He needed some sort of drug, which means he was already not feeling well in one way or another. His day had just suddenly been delayed. He was wearing work clothes. Now his car needed repairs. And he took it all out on this one lady. How many times have I taken out mounting frustration in one fell swoop?

I really don't have answers. All I can say, is he looked ugly this morning. I know there have been times I have looked plenty ugly myself. (And I'm not talking about the yoga pants.) And seeing him show himself in such a way made me get calmer. It made me not want to be like him. So on this journey for lent where I have agreed to if not give up anger, to at least keep it in check, I will picture him. My example of what anger looks like. And I gotta tell you, I really don't want to look that way. ever. again.

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