This morning, I picked up my kiddos from Tennis Camp to find little dude crying because he wasn’t getting a treat (gatorade) from his coach but his sister had won a treat. Every statement he made had to do with Michaela…not what he seemed to think he had done to earn a treat. He was jealous, plain and simple. While discussing this in the car on the way home, I pulled out in front of someone (that I should have had enough time to get in front of…but she was speeding) and really pissed her off…I mean honking, screaming, throwing her hands up in the air, etc…she was torqued! About two seconds, after I pulled out in front of her, we both had to stop at a stoplight…which is super-comfortable when you are right next to the person still gnashing their teeth at you. So, I did the opposite of what any sane person would do and rolled my window down. She rolled hers down too and was sucking in wind to give me a piece of her mind. I started talking before she had a chance: “I understand that it is frustrating that I pulled out in front of you but can I just say that we were both approaching a red light and had to stop anyway and that it just doesn’t seem worth it to let this ruin your day.” This knocked the wind out of her. She opened and closed her mouth a few times and then slowly said, “You are absolutely right.” Then she smiled and we both went on our way.
I’m so glad that this happened this way with my kids able to watch…not because I want to teach them to roll your window down for every hot-tempered maniac out there…no, that is not why…but because I was just telling them about how we have a choice about how we let what others do affect us. I had just told Caleb that if you are going to get worked up about something, make it count…let it be worthy of your energy! Let it be about justice, freedom, love, or our God. Don’t let it be about gatorade…or someone cutting you off in traffic. I also pointed out to him that Michaela getting something takes nothing from him. We love Michaela and because we do, we should be happy for her when something good happens to her. Love is not jealous and our God is not short on blessings…they aren’t limited…and someone else receiving one does not reduce our chances of receiving one. When I talked to the angry driver, pointing out that she was going to have to brake for the red light seemed to help her out…I didn’t take anything from her…I probably kept her from having an accident because she was going way to fast as she approached that stoplight. But, regardless, she made a choice when I gently confronted her. She chose to let it go. She chose to not let it alter her entire day. She chose not to let this steal her joy.
So, how are you doing with this? Are there little things in your life eliciting unnecessarily large responses and taking up space in your mind and heart? Is your energy being sucked up by unimportant things? What could you be doing to re-prioritize the things/people who are important to you. What could you be doing to utilize your emotional energy in a more productive way? How can you find a way to be happy for others who have something that you want?
Praying for contentment for us all right where we are. Also praying that we would be energized on whatever mission/calling God would have for each of us. Much love friends,