Lent 09: what stirs my anger.
I was disappointed with myself for not being able to subdue my anger during a meeting yesterday.
No, I didn’t flare up at a particular person or used words that I wasn’t supposed to, but I produced an unusually strong reaction to a decision that was made. I was the only one with a bad reaction even though that decision impacted all of us; there was another colleague who raised her eyebrow to that decision but she was gentle. Somehow, that decision triggered something in me.
The first few questions I asked myself were,
- How can a person who tries to be a man of God react in this unacceptable way?
- Is a pastor even allowed to show such emotion or is he supposed to be even-tempered all the time?
- Have I stumbled any of my colleagues with my display of emotions?
- What does it mean to respond, and not react, in that situation?
- How would I respond instead, if I was given another chance?
I excused myself, headed to the bathroom and attempted to sort out my emotions before I returned to the meeting. My colleague who went out with me encouraged me to speak to the decision-maker so that I can get it off my chest. I told her that I wouldn’t, until I sort out what’s in my heart, otherwise I’d get myself into more trouble.
I realised that over the years, a part of me gets especially annoyed whenever I feel that there is inconsistency in decision-making or in example-setting. I realised that I like things to be in black and white, yes and no, true and false. I operate in dichotomy and struggle to deal with ambiguity and ambivalence. I also have a low threshold for injustice.
Until I succeed in managing this tension, I’ve always asked the Lord to keep my head straight and stick to my convictions, but never at the expense of being self-righteous. I asked God to make me flexible leader with wisdom to know when to compromise and when to stay firm; there are some battles that are just not worth fighting. I asked the Lord for a greater threshold of grey areas.
Then the Lord reminded me to wear my Double-L plate; except that this time, a leader and a learner must also be ready to be a loser and lover. I want to learn to lose my rights and love others. I want to grow from this setback. I want to mature. I want to be godly.
I am thankful for the grace of God and how He would still use me despite my multiple flaws. I will do better next time.