Saturday, February 9, 2013

Does It Really Matter?

Does it really matter? That question haunted me all afternoon, triggered by tests of patience, and insults to my ego. The cranky driver on my commute (I see a lot of them on the evening commute), the testy, rude co-worker. These are my Achilles heel. The incidents that worm their way into my emotions and ruin my inner peace.

An incident yesterday sparked another wave of What If fantasies. What if I did this? How would that make them feel? Or, what if I did this?


In the midst of these self-serving, self -promoting scenarios, a thought broke through, shattering my sweet little scenarios of revenge (for that was what they really were). Does it really matter? If I died in the next few moments, would that injustice matter? These petty little ones? No. Bigger ones? Yes, for those left behind.

It is our Christian duty to leave the world a little better than had we not been born. Those things matter. Not whether my ego took another bashing. Oddly, God seemed to concur with this thought. Several of my devotions this morning carried the same theme.

The first came from Good Morning, Lord by Joseph T. Sullivan. "Whatever happens, let me be considerate in many small, unspectacular ways." I try, really I do...

The second from an online devotional site recently recommended by a dear friend, Daily Prayer. Listed among its morning prayers was a prayer for our enemies. "...deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty and revenge." Ouch.

As if that wasn't enough of a conviction, another quoted Romans 12:19: "Do not take revenge." The meditation went on to illustrate how Jesus answered His accusers with silence. His silence spoke more powerfully any words.

And so, again, I am given the example of remaining silent when I want to scream back in self-righteous indignation, to reply in kind to the insults, and even though I don't actively seek physical revenge, my fantasies destroy my peace of mind and color my thoughts with ugliness. I'm never violent in my imaginings, instead finding subtle ways to make the offender feel bad. Same end result - revenge. Does it bother my perceived offender? No. Does it make me feel better? In truth, no.

Back to the question, my new guideline. Does it really matter? If I died in the next five minutes, would it matter what that person said or did? If it would, then I need to act. If not, then I need to keep my mouth shut, pray for the situation, pray for my enemy, and pray for God to give me the wisdom and the courage to act, or let it go.

2 comments:

  1. I am smiling and nodding all the way through this...you sure you weren't around my house this week? Isn't that so true..does it really matter? I will be chewing on that all week. Thanks....just like that ego piece of yours I always leave here with meat to chew on!
    Blessings!!

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  2. It seems my struggles are not isolated ones...We all share the same weakness and carry the knowledge of the same hope. God loves us enough to compassionately show us the error of our ways....

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