December 1, 2020
Weekly Reflection – Frustrated
Have you ever felt totally frustrated by someone else’s interpersonal behavior? Someone who seemed determined to counteract everything you could possibly do or say? The disagreement builds, and your inner pressure rises to the bursting point, and it is all you can do to keep a level head during the whole episode. Then if so, perhaps you can empathize with the Quaker who owned a milk-cow.
Every time the Quaker milked his cow, it seemed to be a clash of the two wills. One particular morning she was unusually irritable, but he was determined to endure the session without so much as a cross word. As the farmer began to milk her, Ol’ Betsy stepped on his foot. He struggled silently, groaned a little under his breath, managed to pull his foot free, and sat back down on the milking stool.
She then swished her tail in his face like a long string whip. He leaned away so it wouldn’t be able to reach him with such force. Next, she kicked over the bucket, which, by then, was half-filled with milk. He started over, mumbling a few words to himself, but still managing to keep his cool. Once finished with the ordeal, he breathed a sigh of relief, picked up the bucket and stool, and started to walk away.
At that moment, she struck out mightily with a back leg and knocked him against the barn wall six feet away. That did it! Getting to his feet, he marched in front of his cow, stared into those big bovine eyes, and, as he shook a bony finger in her face, shouted, “Thou dost know that I am a Quaker. Thou dost also know that I cannot strike thee back…but what thou dost not know is that now I will sell thee to a Presbyterian who will soundly smite thee!”
We need to watch that anger bit, even if we happen to be good Quakers.
Solomon wrote: He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding. (Prov. 14:29)
Benjamin Franklin said, “Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.”
Seneca wrote: “The greatest remedy for anger is delay.”
Maybe it’s not a bad idea to count to ten before giving that person “a piece of our mind.” It just might be wise to sleep on that letter “blowing our stack” before we mail it.
It was not for nothing that God’s word says in James 1:19,20,26: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life God desires…If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
So, let us seek to “keep our cool” this coming week!
Read more Weekly Reflections: Chaplain’s Corner