So, what did we get up to last night? (yes, there is a theme developing. And… Yes mother, I am late as usual!)
Well, last night we met Edmund (Elise’s choice this time). Edmund contained the little collection of items we’d encountered on Monday night – a theme title and initial for our Easter twigs; a key verse; our related Easter reading reference, three little stimulus pictures and, of course, 2 little edible eggs!
Our A, as the very discerning among you will already have sussed, stood for Anger and our linked key verse was James 1 verse 19: ‘Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.’ This verse will, always play in my head as a song, as the result of a Youth Fellowship memory verse initiative from many years ago, when the very talented Janine Hanna created a little song of this verse to help us remember it. Janine left many lasting impressions and for me, this is definitely one of the many.
This was tied in with our Easter reading from Matthew 21 verses 12 – 19. Here, we read about Jesus over-turning the tables in the temple, angered by how the people were disrespecting God. This was the first kind of anger that we considered – the justified kind. But, we then went on to think about anger that, when not fueled by correct motives, could become very dangerous. I explained how anger is sometimes referred to as a mist and how, like a mist, it can seriously affect our clear sight and cause us to see things in a very one-track way. This is where anger gets very dangerous – speaking or acting in the heat of anger can lead to consequences that are not always helpful. Also, when Jesus had acted in anger that was just, He sought to help those who truly deserved His help – even though this would cause another kind of anger.
We talked about a sermon we had heard some time ago that warned about the dangers and risks of acting in anger and how, the idea to ‘write a letter’ was wise advice: put your anger and reasons for it down on paper, wait some time and then, if you still feel your anger is justified, in a cooler manner it can be acted on. If, however, as is often the case, it no longer seems necessary to act, then no harm has been done and temper hasn’t caused you to do something you live to regret. After all, when has getting really mad and saying or doing something in the heat of anger not left some of us filled with utter regret – possibly making us feel worse than whatever made us angry in the first place.’Write a letter’ is a phrase heard in our house from time to time when one of us (i.e. one of the grown ups) is heard ranting to the other about something that really does not necessarily deserve our emotional or actual time… honestly, it’s some of the best advice we’ve had!
Temper can show itself in many ways and while it doesn’t always lead to headline stirring actions, acting in anger can often cause hurt and regret – so, listening to everything, not just speaking out in quick response and being slow to anger – as James suggests – is wisdom worth holding on to. In our Easter reading we saw Jesus’ justified anger but, we also saw many becoming increasingly angry with Jesus because of how He had acted and because of the way He sought to help and heal, and angry actions of those opposed to Jesus led them to the point of being willing to see someone lose a life – if ever there was a red warning light against acting in anger when we are feeling irrational, surely this is it!
Our summary pictures were:
– a table – a reminded that when Jesus got angry He was justified as He knew people were disrespecting His Father – He wasn’t just responding to a personal peeved-ness ( sorry for the new word, but I hope you get what I mean)
– a doctor – a reminder that Jesus didn’t just get angry and walk away; He looked about Him and sought to help many who were in the temple
– a tube of toothpaste – we all know the old adage about the toothpaste not going back into the tube – once the words are said or the actions are done, there’s no going back… Que James 1 vs 19!!
The girls had fun on Tuesday evening making little Easter chocolate creations – yummy, cute and oh so very, very messy (if you don’t believe me, have a look at the towel where they dried their ‘washed’ hands!!) But, it did reinforce the point that although the chocolate when melted and moulded was still chocolate, it could never be as it was in its first life in the bar it started out in. So to, by acting in anger, we can change circumstances forever and, although we can try to make the best of a bad situation, if our anger is unnecessary, there is a very good chance that we will have to live with consequences that we regret!
A also needs to stand for apologise… I have been having some technical issues this week and haven’t been able to add photos to this wee post – I anticipate (another a!!) a photo blitz towards the end of the week when I have the chance to try and deal with the technical demons…. hopefully, in a calm manner feeling very peaceful. If not, perhaps I should ‘write a letter’ and weigh up whether or not that is really how I want my time and energy to be spent. As the saying goes, ‘For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.’ … easier said than done, but boy is it a truth worth trying to live x