Monday, August 18, 2008

Changing frustration into calm

I just saw a promo on NBC for a new show with Christian Slater, "My Own Worst Enemy." Now, I've heard that phrase more than once in my life - and I tend to agree that I am my own worst enemy. I let Satan get in my head and it makes for one bad day. Like today. Not that today is particularly horrible - just highly irritating and frustrating. Welcome to adulthood.

And being a child of God, I am making constant concerted efforts to pay attention to my attitude and actions. My attitude should like that of Christ Jesus, and my actions should show the love of God to the world. Do I do that? And How? And what does it look like when I don't do such a good job. Am I being a pain in the neck right now because I'm frustrated and feel like the whole office is treating me unfairly? My initial reaction USED to be to go to the bathroom where I had privacy and inwardly scream to God "WHY!?!?!?" "Because your perception is off," was His reply one day. What? MY perception...

That day was a long time ago. There are still frustrating moments and sometimes whole days, but my perception is different. I get closer to God and see things completely different - He's higher situations look smaller...tiny sometimes. And NOT IMPORTANT in the big picture. Just because someone doesn't involve me in areas that will affect my job - doesn't mean it's intentional. It has nothing to do with me - it's not all about me, duh. So what do I do now? For all practical purposes, I do something totally researching youth ministry ideas, or reading mission blogs, or even landscaping ideas, or living on my own island. Today - I listened to Robin Sigar's (from CIY) podcast on David's Mighty Men. Awesome stuff. Never hurts to get a message from the Lord. Plus daydream a little - that never hurts either. Keeps the imagination alive. And watch cartoons, oh wait, I do that for any mood. :-)

All that helps calm me quick and enough to change my attitude about my experience. I don't hold on to it either. Work relations do not accompany me home. WORK does sometimes - just not the office politics atmosphere. I've set up boundaries in my relationships everywhere. Not walls of defense - but strategic reponses to certain situations. For example, if I'm not included on an email that tells of a meeting -- I will not feel obligated to be there. I can spend that time doing something much more productive - without getting my feelings hurt. This method has been fantastic - and helps keep my priorities in check: Jesus first, then others, then me. Make sense? What about you? When you are irritated or frustrated - how do you express it? Is it clear to anyone around that Jesus comes first in your life? How quick can you be not irritated? What do you do to not be that way?