Wednesday, April 13, 2016
It was not a good weekend for me, anger-wise. On Friday, I got home after working out to find a notice on my door from the office of my apartment complex. It said I was delinquent in my rent and if not paid that day, I would be locked out of my apartment! The alleged amount due? Three dollars! That's right, $3.00! Immediately, I marched over to the office but it had closed for the evening. You can bet I was there almost as soon as it opened on Saturday. I explained the reason for my visit to the nice gentleman on call. He looked up my account and saw I was paid in full and had been but that some glitch had registered my rent at $3 more than the actual lease. He was very apologetic and I was very appreciative. I knew it wasn't his doing but I told him I had paid 213 consecutive rent checks on time, totaling by my estimate north of $95,000, and was threatened with a lock out over three dollars. Also, I expressed my frustration that there was no warning that they thought, mistakenly, I was late; no phone call, no e-mail, no note, nothing. Again, he apologized and said they don't go through and check the details of each situation. I held my tongue and didn't say that's a lousy way to do business. He doesn't make the policy and like I said, he was very gracious. And don't get me wrong- I love living here! They have been wonderful to me over my eighteen years, longer than any other place I've lived in my life, and I would not want to live anywhere else in Houston. It just irritated me and I'm not easily irritated. But, I got over it pretty quickly and the rest of my Saturday was terrific.
But that old demon anger returned a day later. About 4:00 PM on Sunday, I was heading to my fitness club to swim before our 5 o'clock evening service. The remote control exit gate I normally leave by is being repaired so I had to use the front exit gate, one of those that senses when a car is near and opens. I was preparing to make a right angle turn when a little boy darted in on a bike and I stopped. He seemed kind of sheepish and I waved him through. But as I took off into the street, I heard a sickening sound and I knew what it was. I pulled into a parking area across the road and got out to view the damage I was certain had occurred. As I saw what the iron gate had done to my Honda Fit, I yelled at myself in a fit of rage. Oh, I muffled it so the surrounding neighborhood wouldn't hear but I was absolutely furious and it escaped me in guttural tones. You see, that car is the only expensive new thing I've ever had in my life that I owned and I wanted to keep it from major damage and I did............ for six years and ten days.
As I drove off, I changed my tone somewhat and kept thanking the Lord that I didn't hit that kid. And as I thought, I thanked Him that the car was paid off and runs good and that I went six plus years without any real visible mishaps. The more I thought about the car AND the rent notice, the more the truthfulness of James 1:19-20 became evident to me:
The righteous life that God desires goes on hiatus when I get mad. Look what I became angry over in less than forty-eight hours; an honest mistake and a piece of metal. I try to like myself but I didn't for stretches this past weekend. If I don't like me, I'm fairly certain you wouldn't either under those circumstances. When I leave here in the morning, the scratch will still be there but the anger will have dissipated. God still loves me in spite of my dents and scratches; I guess I can love me, too.
Applicable quote of the day:
How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Steve Hawley at 9:13 PM