Today, we were finishing notes about Jesus clearing out the temple over the animal sellers and the money changers in the Court of the Gentiles. I told the kids that anger is sometimes legitimate and called for, as the actions of Jesus were, but it's a double edged sword and lethal without purpose and self control. I told them I used to get mad easily in class and it would carry over to basketball practice which was idiotic on my part. I told them I would find myself looking for stuff to get angry about with players I really loved which was incredibly stupid. As I do daily, I showed a film clip in all five of my Bible classes. The one I used today was taken from the movie Fireproof which you can watch here:
(You may have to copy and paste but the 2 minute clip illustrates my point.)
In the 155 second vignette, Caleb, played by Kirk Cameron, escalates an insignificant disagreement with his wife, Catherine, over a candle and a pizza into a verbal altercation which teeters on the edge of becoming physical. In one of my classes as I wrapped up my summation of the Fireproof segment, I stated that I never heard my parents argue or even have a disagreement. A young lady sitting close to me whispered, "I wish I could say that." I don't know if anyone else heard it or even if she would remember those words coming from her lips but it shook me a little bit. I grew up in a world devoid of conflict and bitterness. Our folks may have argued but if they did, it was in private. I should state here they did disagree over dressing (Mom liked it made from cornbread and Dad preferred white bread as did I) and my mother loved Stamps-Baxter church songs while my father gravitated to the more stately hymns. As far as any personal knowledge on my behalf, that was about the extent of their fighting. I left school this afternoon under the impression that some of my students struggled to come to grips with that level of domestic tranquility.
This afternoon, my brother, Dave, obviously enjoying a number of consecutive snow days from school in Kansas, listed on FACEBOOK some things he missed and didn't miss necessarily from his days on earth. I added some items from shared childhood experiences and we shared a social media laugh without ever actually talking. The ones Dave posted having to do with our early lives were, as I would expect, happy memories. No fightings or beatings or separations or threats or screamings or slamming doors or accusations or violence or belittling. The odd thing, that is how I thought everybody lived. I was sadly mistaken. I left the teenagers in Room 258 with one piece of marital advice and prefaced it with the disclaimer that I've never been married but here it is anyway:
Never marry an angry person.
I hope someday they'll remember so their list can be at least somewhat like Dave's. Life is too short to be miserable and afraid.
Applicable quote of the day # 1:
Speak when you are angry - and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret.
Applicable quote of the day # 2:
How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org