Has there ever been a time when there was more chest pounding than today? It is a rare day in May when I get to the point of absolute frustration. These chest pounders do it for me all the time.
I will admit that I do get aggravated at a few things and, to be quite honest, a few people.
Aggravation is one thing, but frustration is quite a different thing. In fact, aggravation probably is good for a person. You can go mellow for so long and then you need something this stir up the soul and aggravation does it all the time. So, there is something good to be said about aggravation.
On the other hand, I cannot think of anything good to say about being frustrated. Frustration means have come to the end of something, hopefully it is not my rope, and I do not know what to do next. Well, I might know what to do next, but it is against the law in every state I know.
Recently, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I went out to celebrate Valentine’s Day at a local restaurant. We do this occasionally just to break the routine and, if you do not tell anybody, I like to make fun of other people.
When I was growing up a lot of people made fun of me. Turnabout is fair play, I always say.
We were getting along most famously and enjoying our evening repast when I happened to overhear the conversation from the table behind us. I am not one to eavesdrop, but there are some situations words impossible not to eavesdrop. If I want to tell my wife something I do not want anybody else to hear, I say it in the car so nobody else can hear. That is a rule everybody should understand.
I remember as a child whenever I got too loud in the house, my mother would always say, “Use your indoor voice. You’re getting too loud.” I was about to turn around and tell the people behind us to use their indoor voice. Then I heard what they were saying and turned up the listening volume.
“These people who believe in God just make me angry,” the man said to his companion. “People who believe in God these days must be crazy.”
I really was tempted to interrupt him at this point but I wanted to hear what else he had to say.
“I’m not going to let anybody tell me what to do. I am the master of my own ship. I’m the captain of my life and what I say goes.”
I have heard that line many times before. Usually, the people who use this line of argument are those who believe in evolution and in this case, this man probably did come from some monkey somewhere.
There was a little lull in the conversation and I went back to my dinner and conversation at our table. Then I heard the guy behind me beat his chest and roar again.
“I am what I am today because of my determination and my strength and my knowledge. I can do anything I set my heart on. Nobody can get in my way.”
At this point, it was all I could do to keep from laughing and falling off my chair. My wife was trying to find out what was wrong with me and I covertly pointed to the people behind me. She listened for a moment and then a smile broke out all across her face.
Again, there was a lull in the conversation behind us and my wife and I whispered some sarcastic comments back and forth to each other. No matter how down you feel about yourself and how stupid you feel you are at times, it is always wonderful to run into someone stupider than yourself. That is what life is all about.
The guy behind me then made another comment. “All this snow up north is disgusting. When will it ever stop? I’ve never known it to snow that much in any winter in my life.”
I glanced at my wife and I could see her shaking her head and mouthing the word “no.” Don’t you hate it when your wife can read your mind and sometimes before your mind even works? She knew what I was thinking about and it was all I could do to keep from turning around and telling this man, “If you’re as big and as powerful as you think you are why don’t YOU do something about the snow up north?”
Then, had I run with that thought, I would have said, “If you can’t control something as simple as the weather how in the world are you going to control your own life?”
It was all my wife could do to get me safely out of the restaurant. I wanted to go up to the table and stand before that guy, beat my chest and say, “Me Tarzan, you insane.”
Driving home from the restaurant that night a verse of Scripture came to my mind.
“For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself” (Galatians 6:3).
It takes a real man to know what he can and cannot do and then give honor to the One who can do what he cannot do.
Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. His web site is www.jamessnyderministries.com.