My NO REACTION REWARD

Proverbs 29:22 “An angry man stirs up strife, And a hot–tempered man abounds in transgression.”

I am learning about processing rather than reacting. In my life I have found that I have caused my self, and my relationships trouble by reacting rather than choosing how to act. I am learning that when angry about anything it is best not to talk about it until I am less angry and I don’t need anything from the person I am angry with. This is the best way to process and walk together. I have also found that when I don’t use my anger to do the talking life, God, or the universe works together to help me out.

This concept was confirmed to me the other day when I was driving in to town with my oldest son. Morning traffic was heavy and so I pulled in to the 60 mph traffic quickly like I always do and I notice the guy who was behind me pulled right up on my bumper.

A little irritated I say out loud, “Ok Dude, it’s the only way to get on this road …back off”

This guy then proceeds to Nascar-style slingshot his pickup truck from behind me and then pass me at about 75 mph and cut me off. He is yelling at me the whole time.

This pulled the anger out of my heart and I said a few choice words that I will not type out for you here, but If you use your imagination I am sure you can hear me now.

The funny thing is how unexpected and how quick that rage was accessed in me. Now I could focus on this guy and how much of a Jack-wagon he was but I was fascinated with how quick someone like that could have complete control of my emotions.

I don’t like being out of control. I talked myself down with my son as my confessor next to me. If I was in a state of reaction I know exactly what I would have done. I know because I wanted to do it. I wanted to ride his bumper and honk my horn and yell. This is the kind of emotion that escalates and road rage is born.

Instead I laughed about the whole thing with my son. I made the choice to. I admitted how quickly I could get so angry but then I just let this guy go.

I let him be him, the jack­-wagon that he was.

Then something amazing happened.

Traffic started to bunch up on the highway as we neared downtown. I made a casual turn into the right lane and tried not to smirk as I passed him going about 30mph. I tried not to laugh as a position opened up one car ahead of him.

The big challenge came for me to not smile as I went to the intersection and made it through while he, the man who was in such a big hurry, was detained at the red light!

His face was priceless though.

I was pleased. I refrained from honking, yelling, and tailgating to deal with my emotions in the right way and I was given a gift.

I felt like I won at life.

I passed a test of sorts. I did not give in to my angry emotional reaction and I was rewarded with seeing the humbled face of the dude who did give in to his angry reaction to me.

It was satisfying.

I took it as a validation that I am on the right track. Not reacting but rather choosing my course in emotional situations has its rewards. I had much more fun and didn’t experience the flames of rage for as long which I very well could have carried through my day.

Remember this next time you want to get angry. Anger may be helpful to alert you that there is an issue to attend to but it is not the best representative to fix the situation. Better to choose your course more logically.

Who knows? Maybe the lane will open up next to you and you can watch your opponents face as you drive on with your life, with a smile on yours…

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