Abundant Living Vol. XIII, Issue 45

“A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.”          Proverbs 14:29 

My whole morning routine got totally derailed this past week.  First, our newspapers started arriving late, sometimes up to two hours later than normal (yes, I’m one of those late adopters who refuses to give up reading the papers the old-fashioned way).  Then, to make matters worse, the coffeemaker went on the fritz.  So, for a very early riser like me, waking up to no paper and no coffee completely disrupted my life, which as my wife can attest, changed my usual chipper nature to that of a quick-tempered, cantankerous grump.

The whole episode had me messed up, and out of sorts.  It made me want to write nasty letters to the newspaper, scream at the poor delivery guy if I could ever find him, throw the coffeemaker across the kitchen, kick the dog, yell at my wife, or blame anyone else who got in the way.  I was a poster-child for how “a quick-tempered man displays folly.”

Then I remembered this little quote, a clever word play on Jesus’ Beatitudes.  “Blessed are the flexible,” it says, “for they shall not get bent out of shape.”  And that’s when I realized how I was being totally inflexible, and therefore completely bent out of shape.  As it turns out we have alternative ways to brew a cup of coffee available in our kitchen, and there are stacks of good books, devotional pamphlets, and even a Bible right next to my reading chair, much more stimulating and uplifting than the daily newspaper.

Fortunately, I did restrain myself from acting out on my emotions.  That is to say, I did not yell at my wife, kick the dog, throw the coffeepot across the kitchen, scream at the delivery person or write any nasty letters to the newspaper.  How foolish would that have been!  More importantly, I was able to experience the rewards from being patient and flexible.

By week’s end, our newspapers were once again arriving at their usual time, a brand-new coffeemaker now sits on our kitchen counter, and all is right with the world.  And a lesson learned: “A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.”

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