My 4 year old granddaughter Greyleigh May was sputtering at me other day wanting a ball that had rolled to me. "Grandpa, give me the ball." She demanded with a very insistent look on her face. She can really put on the attitude, but oh so cute. Anyways in response to her demand, I smiled to her, and told her she must say with a big smile.. "Oh most wonderful grandfather, may I PLEASE have the ball?" Well she was a bit tired and would not even smile at me, and would stare me down, and would in response say "Give it to me." I finally gave in after unsuccessfully getting her to smile. It was actually pretty cute.. because she is four years old.
In contrast for about eight weeks I have been sputtering, stewing, and mumbling to myself (and others) my displeasure over an injustice/issue at work. Each day I would faithfully carry my lunch, a thermal coffee mug that keeps my coffee hot for almost 8 hours, and a mug on my face that expressed my displeasure without saying a word for those same 8 hours.
It is cute and understandable when my granddaughter Greyleigh puts on an attitude, but when her 60 year grandfather demonstrates the same attitude.. it's not so cute.
Then a sermon at our church the other week referenced 'Don't let the sun go down on your anger.' Ephesians 4:26. Heard it many times before, but a light bulb went off for me this time. It is not about the literal sun going down, but about harboring my bad/angry attitude.
This is most likely a 'Well Duh!' moment for most of you, but then again I am pretty sure others of you may confess angry or bitter attitudes similar to me or at least like my granddaughter.
Greyleigh of course woke up the next day all smiles and life was good again and for those around her who might have her ball. Same was true for me as when I changed my attitude at work even if the circumstance did not directly change the environment I worked in but my relationship with those I had contention with has improved dramatically.
May God bless each of us today with smiling faces (inside & out) without harboring the negative attitudes, actions, and anger that only serve to make us ill. Love God & Care for others, the rest is in comparison trivia.
Jeff (Happy now in the Back Pew) Larson
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson