HELP, I’M BECOMING A GROUCH

The children and grandchildren were here; we were on a circle sidewalk at the playground and we looked at adult exercise possibilities in our neighborhood.  I was into our conversation and stepped back unthinking . . . we were in kids’ territory.  A ten or so year old boy on a bike was riding fast from behind and nearly hit me.  I spoke to him rather sternly, “When you are coming to someone from behind, say something, “Watch out, I’m coming by.”  His mother came from nowhere and defended her son angrily.  I made sure I had the last word, “He should have warned me; I ride bikes and always speak up.”  I was right Of course, but my intensity embarrassed my daughters in law and grandchildren.  I surprised myself, felt terrible for a long time . . . and still do. Where did that aggression come from?  Yesterday, I was at the grocery store, the teenage boy bagging my considerable amount of food, talked the whole time to the man at the register . . . no stopping . . . on and on and on, as he put my groceries in plastic bags.  I am ashamed, but I said to the man at the register, “You are a very patient man.” His calm acceptance of the “bag boy” and ignoring my demeaning statement smote my conscience.

I knew I had disrespected this young teenager who was serving me.  I had been hard on the young boy on the bike.  I had over talked his mother.

If I don’t watch it, I’m going to become a grouchy old woman.  I know better.   I purposefully think about respecting every living human being.  I know that they are created in God’s own image.  I’m grateful for being one of them.

So, as hours rolled by and the pain of my actions kept hitting my brain, I said about five times, “Lord, forgive me; I was demeaning, disrespectful and arrogant.”  And then when I was about to say, “Lord forgive” again, it was as if the knowledge of Who He is and who I am said silently, “Ok, that’s enough.”  Forgiven!

If I become a bitch, a grouch, a needy old woman, it will be my own fault.   “He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake . . .” (Psalm 23) He restored my hope and peace and calm once again.

Thank you, LORD.

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