I needed a pitcher today and I dreaded opening the cupboard and getting it out. We all have that one cupboard don't we? The one where you shove all the sippy cups, water bottles, plastic cups, and whatever else you are trying to hide from view! I knew as soon as I opened it something would fall out, probably several things would actually tumble out and start an avalanche of everything else falling out. Dreading the outcome but needing a pitcher I opened the cupboard.
I was right, the lid to pitcher fell on my toe as the cup of corn on the cob holders rolled all over the floor, one of the sippy cup hit me in the head as I made a wild grab to stop the snow cone syrup from falling and of course while I was trying to stop as much of the avalanche as I could, all the various plastic cups bounced on the stove and proceeded to crash to the floor. I was so aggravated and upset that my first reaction was to cry out in frustration! "Oh man!!!" "Stupid lid!!!" "Why in the world!!!" "Grrrrr, all over the floor!!!" (Okay, okay you may not think those are strong words but that's pretty intense for me!)
I think many of us get upset and irritated when something like the above incident happens. When we are taking groceries or something else into the house and drop what we are carrying..... When we trip or stumble and stub our toe..... When we are trying to fix something but nothing we do is working..... When we are cooking dinner but the little one calls for help and as your helping them you forget about the food in the oven until you smell it burning...... When you forget you had an appointment until they call asking where you are..... When you are out to dinner and drop something gooey and messy on your shirt...... When you reach for the toilet paper and all you find is an empty roll...... And the list goes on and on. So many things happen and we get upset and have to say something to get our frustrations out, to let everyone know how we're feeling, even if it is only the air that hears us.
That was my first reaction today, to say something to express my frustration at what happened...... but I didn't. God immediately pulled on my heart and I stopped and stepped back. If I am so easily irritated and frustrated at lifeless objects and have to say something to the corn cob holders that were now scattered all over the floor, how do I react when people irritate or frustrate me? I have to admit, I am not the most mellow and calm person. I get irritated more easily that I should and when I get irritated, I usually snap out something so people know..... so my husband knows, how I'm feeling about what was said or done. So many times it's just a simple misunderstanding, an accident that couldn't have been prevented, an interruption to what I'm doing because someone needs me, someone doing a task differently than I would..... little things, but they irritate me just the same and too often I want others to know how I'm feeling by my words and my actions but too often my words and actions simply wound the ones around me.
When my irritation and frustration at others and how I express how I'm feeling does not line up with the doctrine and truth of His Word, then I am not living out the gospel. For the last month or so God has been convicting me to change how I react to the everyday things that happen around me. To stop and step back and look at the situation before saying or doing anything. To make sure how I'm feeling, what I'm saying and what I do, all line up with the doctrine of His Word. I don't want to be a hearer of the Word only but I want to be a doer, putting away all wrath and evil speaking, being kind and tenderhearted, patient, longsuffering and loving no matter what storm is blowing or what little hiccup comes up.
It may seem little, but today I did not react, I did not express my irritation or frustration. I stepped back and decided an avalanche of cups and pitchers and corn on the cob holders was not worth getting upset about. Today I am content to spend a few extra minutes picking plastic cups up off the floor because I know God's Word is working in me and changing me into a vessel worthy of Him.
What causes your avalanches in life and how are you reacting?