After choosing to head home before cleaning the building last night, page 103 began early as I went into work to do the cleaning and building prep for the day. Some days are easier to get up and going than others, but the peaceful atmosphere of a quiet building is always worth it. Once the building was ready for the day, I took care of some correspondence and messages and then thought about doing some writing but my mind just wasn’t focusing. With needing to work on Good Friday to get the building cleaned and ready for Easter Sunday, today was a planned short workday. By mid-morning I had wrapped up my work at the building for the day and Susan and I headed out to pick up some janitorial supplies that I will need tomorrow. I had thought we might stop by the zoo on our way to Gordon’s but it was rather cool and drizzling when we left the building so the zoo trip will wait for more suitable weather.
After picking up the supplies, we headed home where I fired up the pellet grill to make some bacon cheeseburgers for lunch. The afternoon was spent in rest and relax mode as I spent time on social media and playing Wii games. One of the things I continue to notice on social media is how easily angered people seem to be. I get it. Many of the articles, news stories, and opinion pieces are designed to tug at our emotions and one of the emotions that is often tugged at the hardest is our anger. It’s not that this tugging is new, perhaps the frequency and availability have increased, but rather the opportunity to instantly respond has caused many a word to be “spoken” that never should have been said. At one time, we would take in these hard to digest stories and opinion pieces at a much slower rate. While they would still often anger us, there was rarely an option to respond immediately so we had to deal with out emotions and even allow them to challenge and convict us regarding the specific point that angered us so greatly. Our response, if we ever gave one, was generally delayed so that it was reasoned and based on truth. God tells us through His servant, James, that “everyone is to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” Sounds like good advice for daily living and great advice for social media users.
As evening came, we headed out to have dinner with my parents. As the years go by, the thought that they won’t always be here to have dinner with gradually increases. It was a good dinner with a few stories of years gone by. There was talk of re-roofing buildings that I had roofed and a barn that dad put a new roof on when I was young and it just didn’t seem like either of those original events was long enough ago that new work would be needed. But as we added up the years that have passed, the numbers told a different story. As I came home from dinner and began to write today’s page, there were only a few photos I had taken during the day. A pair of cardinals came by the office in the short time I was there, so today’s photo is of one of them as he searched the lawn for bugs, worms, and nesting material. In between his meals and work, his song of praise joined with others to fill the morning air. I wonder how often my meals and work add to my songs of praise and how often they distract from it. About midway through this writing, weariness overtook me and I went to bed to finish up the writing of this page the next day. And so, as a new day begins I reflect through writing on the page just lived.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Finding a place of peace and quiet can be difficult but sometimes that place isn’t as far away as you might think.
- Not planning for times of stillness will usually mean we don’t find, or notice, them.
- You will read and hear things that make you angry. How you respond says more about you than about the one who has angered you.
- The emotion of anger often shows up unannounced.
- Being “slow to become angry” often begins by learning to be “slow to speak”.
- When anger is present, our response time usually has a direct correlation to the inappropriateness of the response.
- “Stop, look, and listen” are not just good instructions for approaching a train crossing, they are good instructions for approaching the issue of anger as it rises in us.
- Spend time with loved ones when you have the opportunity. Someday that opportunity will not exist.