What are your pet peeves? What are the apparently insignificant things that cause you stress that is out of proportion to the size of the item causing that stress? Let me suggest a few common ones and see if any of them tick your boxes.
Management speak (like ‘tick your boxes’) instead of plain English.
Toilet seats left up.
Toothpaste tubes squeezed from the middle.
People who are walking along and then stop suddenly in front of you.
Automated calls offering you loans or to recover your payment protection insurance.
People who cough without covering their mouths.
People who don’t say ‘thank you’ when you have stopped your car to let them through.
This list is not entirely autobiographical, I promise. It is based on inadequate research (aka Google search (other search engines are available)). But the last one is one of my own personal ones. It does not take much – even a brief wave of the hand – to acknowledge someone else’s courtesy. I have written bloggerel in the past about having an attitude of gratitude and have probably complained about this lack of thanking on those occasions too. I have even taken to thanking people with a wave when they don’t thank me, which rather confuses them.
But I have decided that alongside an attitude of gratitude I need a face of grace. Who am I to decide that someone else should thank me? Why is my action deserving of a response? Am I so shallow that I want recognition for stopping my car? Is that how Jesus would respond?
So I have resolved that instead of the wave to those who don’t thank me (which is, if I am honest, delivered with a hint (or more) of irony) I am going to smile at them. I am going to ask God’s blessing on them (and on those who thank me too), and instead of getting stressed about it I am going to try to be blessed about it. I think it is a similar approach to ‘turning the other cheek’ and ‘walking the extra mile’. It is a response of grace in place of irritation and agitation. I suspect it will also cause me less stress.
Go back to your answer earlier about your pet peeves. How can you show a face of grace in response?
Be blessed, be a blessing.
There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer. When asked to define “great” he said, “I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level. Stuff that will make them scream, cry, and howl in pain and anger!”
He now works for Microsoft, writing error messages.