Learning the not-so-hard way

To navigate our way through life by looking to God for ideas and wisdom is not always easy, but it is not half so hard as losing one’s mental dominion in a fog of angry reaction.

I seem to have been very good at learning things the hard way, but I am beginning to see that the not-so-hard way is better! By “things,” I mean life lessons in how to behave—how to respond in a wise way to the ups and downs of everyday life. Reacting, especially angrily, has never served me so well as responding to situations with wisdom and thoughtfulness, with calm, poise, and dominion.

Take, for instance, the occasion when, as a mother of young children, I came into the kitchen one day, and in the walk space between the wall and the kitchen table, I saw a pair of sneakers randomly strewn on the floor. I was so upset, I “saw red.” I thought, “Honestly, how inconsiderate! Right where someone could trip over them!” I seized those shoes and flung them angrily out of the side door onto the path leading to the garage.

Some time later, as it was getting dusk, I needed to go to the freezer in the garage and—
you guessed it—tripped over those same shoes! I limped inside with a badly sprained ankle. It did not take much pondering for me to realize I had not handled things in the best way. 

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January 3, 2022

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