Skating Toward Self Control
‘And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.’ Ephesians 4:26
Most of the time, I love living in the bright and sunny, terminally green state of Florida. But when all the snow birds fly north and the rainy season kicks in, the humidity can get so thick you could cut it with a knife. Rain comes suddenly and without warning. In a moment’s time it can turn your lovely coif and neatly pressed suit into a drenched vignette from ‘Singing in the Rain.’
Not long ago, my husband purchased an expensive umbrella for me from one of those couture luggage places in the mall. He knows I love red, so he bought the prettiest bright red umbrella he could buy. It was the kind with a push-button release to shoot the umbrella high over your head in a protective stance of guaranteed dehumidification. And with the same simple gesture could reduce itself to ten percent of its full blown stature, a marvel of modern technology.
Feeling amply protected and assured of staying dry with my new high-tech umbrella, I got ready for some important meetings, did the serious-business makeup, took more time with the hair than usual and put on my brand new dress. Let’s not even talk about the shoes; my saved-in-the-closet, never-worn-before, shoes.
When I left the house that morning, the sky was blue and there wasn’t a cloud in sight. But as unpredictably certain as the weather in Florida can be, barely did I get to my first meeting and step out of the car, when it came a deluge. Reaching in the back seat to take hold of my secret weapon I swung it toward the heavens with a sure and trusted gesture, only to find the blasted release button was stuck. Pushing frantically on that silver button of promise, I was so engrossed in the failure of my secret weapon, I didn’t notice how wet I was getting…when my thumb was exhausted from pushing, I used my never-worn-before, now completely saturated shoes to help me out. Women can be so resourceful when necessary. I took off my shoe, and used the heel to pound lose that exasperating button. Suddenly the umbrella shot open, taking my purse in its liftoff and scattering the contents all over the parking lot that now resembled a small lake. Standing in a half inch of water, one shoe off the other on, the personal effects of my bag strewn about everywhere, there was one ray of light in the midst of this wet, dreary day…. the umbrella, my strong and sure protector…was open. Let’s not forget to be thankful for the small things in life.
I was blissfully happy with my three dollar push-up Walmart umbrella. What is it with guys and gadgets? I went into my meeting soaked from head to toe and more than a little angry at my husband for buying me that high tech piece of junk.
And I was angry at the umbrella for failing me. I was angry at God for sending the rain at a most inopportune time. I was angry at myself for bothering to make the effort to look nice when a girl should know better during the rainy season in Florida. Sometimes a person just gets angry. There were a few names I called that evil umbrella on that wet day that I won’t write here for kind and trusting eyes to see, but believe me when I tell you, the story didn’t end there.
Coming out of my meeting, the deluge had become a sprinkle and I made a quick jog back to my car. As I reached in my purse to pull out the car keys, I accidentally hit the silver button on that blasted umbrella, and wouldn’t you know it…now that I had no emergency, it sprang open like a misplaced Knight in shining red amour prepared to protect the damsel no longer in distress. And do you think for one minute I could get that piece of polyester wrapped tinsel to close? Not a chance. I must have stood there for fifteen minutes trying to shut down that possessed umbrella, when the rain made an unwanted return. Unbelieveable!
All I wanted at this point in time was to get home, to take off my wet clothes, dry my stringy hair and wipe off the mascara that was stuck to my cheeks. In utter exasperation, I opened the car door, sat down in the driver’s seat and slid it as far back as possible to accommodate the obnoxious red monster. I literally had to maneuver that open umbrella into my little car and somehow drive home with it.
I had my speech prepared for my husband before he stepped one foot through the door. I let him have it about his gadget obsession and the red techno tyrant that ruined my morning. There was steam coming out of my ears when I began my angry rant.
We all know that rage is a powerful, divisive force. It has the ability to separate hearts, drive wedges in relationships and terminate communication. God knows how indignation affects the spirit and wreaks havoc with the soul, and that’s why he says in his word ‘Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.’ I don’t know about you, but when examining my past, most every time I’ve been truly angry, I’ve sinned; either in word or deed. How do we avoid that? My adventure with the umbrella that fateful day taught me a valuable lesson in discovering the flip-side of anger.
Something happened about half way through my indignant rant at my husband. Jim started to snigger. And the snigger became a full blown guffaw and before you know it we were both in the floor rolling with laughter over the events of my day.
I realize there are certainly vexing situations that have little humor to offer, but if we take a few moments, enlist the self control needed to see the situation through different eyes, or a contrasting vantage point, the all-encompassing emotion of wrath can take a back seat to what’s really important in life. Most of the time, anger is simply a small inconvenience, or a misunderstanding that has needlessly blown itself out of proportion. Bottom line; my relationship with my husband meant far more to me than some ridiculous umbrella.
Thank God I kept that three dollar push-up Walmart special, because when it comes to gadgets? Women have it all goin’ on.
- Tamra Nashman
- Florida, United States
- I'm a mother of two children, an inspirational and motivational Author and Minister. My greatest joy is to see people gain new insight and understanding about the amazing possibilities that life holds when we put put our faith to action. 'Shoes For The Spirit, is a book filled with real-life stories of people who have walked through great difficulty and have found the right pair of shoes for their personal journey. Whether or not you are a person of faith, there is something uplifting, guiding and compelling in this little book, for everyone. The accompanying CD, 'Songs For the Soul,' is a compliation of original orchestrated tunes, with voice-over verse layered on top of the music. This CD has great encouragement for all who take the time to listen. I hope all of you bloggers will read the new sequel to 'Shoes For The Spirit,' listed in the blog posts below, and if you're so inclined, will purchase my book and CD. You won't be sorry! Be blessed. Love, Tamra