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Anger Managed

Last week I was driving along the 91 freeway at the 215 intersection when two police cars stopped all traffic. Apparently there was someone who was threatening to jump off the overpass. We sat for an hour as negotiations experts, fire department personnel, and motorists all waited. I don't know what the outcome was as eventually traffic opened up and we were allowed to exit the freeway.

Later in the week I met with non-profit leaders in the Temecula Valley who expressed frustration over all the challenges that have resulted from Covid-19 shut downs, businesses closing, and donor support dwindling. One person tearfully expressed frustration that they were ready to throw in the towel and close their doors to a much needed organization. She went on to say she felt so angry and didn't know how to control it, which made her feel even more hopeless.

What do we do when we find we are at the breaking point of our emotions? Many of us are experiencing frustration, fear, and discontent with the daily changes in direction that we must adjust to. We feel caged up, closed in, and can't find the way out.

Take a break from whatever is frustrating you. If it's the news, the politics, the economy, your spouse or your family--go for a walk. While you're walking, look down and notice what you are walking on. Is it grass, dirt, or concrete? Look for bugs, bunnies, or snakes. Look up at the clouds that are puffy white in a backdrop of blue. Look around at the trees, the fields, the people in cars wizzing past. Look within your heart at the dreams and ambitions of the past, present, and future. Look to God who knows you better than you know yourself, who loves you and cares for you. Then let your anger go.

Breathe deep and realize that life is going to have a degree of frustration and anger is going to a natural part of it. Even Jesus became angry and turned over tables in the temple when people used it as a market for thieves (Matthew 21:12-13). There are going to be injustices in this world, people are going to get angry as they express their frustration, hurt feelings, and fears. We can let it get the best of us and lose control, or we can let it go and choose to live in spite of those things that anger us. The choice is ours to make.

"Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray,

lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing."

1 Timothy 2:8

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