A 'Poopy' Point of View

for the week of May 22, 2000
by Rubel Shelly

I got into my car last Monday morning to head for work. As I backed out and turned onto the street, it was obvious that my windshield had been targeted by a bird the night before. And was he ever a good shot! My direct line of sight to everything on the road in front of me was through a blob of bird poop.

In a matter of seconds, I was laughing. It dawned on me that maybe it was an omen of what lay ahead that day. Somebody just might come down hard on me because of his blurred line of sight. And I would likely be tempted to see some person or situation through my own, shall we say, "stuff." What about you?

Ever get a load of anger dumped on you that you knew wasn't deserved? You were smart enough to figure out that someone had taken out his anger at the boss or another employee on you. Even so, knowing what had happened didn't take all the hurt out of it. Maybe you've done the same thing to someone who phoned you at a particularly tense time or just after you'd gotten bad news.

Ever have someone be rude to you because you are in sales or because you represent a company with which she'd had a bad experience before? Ever been the next customer in line after a clerk had someone chew him out? Worse still, have you ever realized that you were being racist or sexist in a story you had started to tell? You're beginning to get the picture now, aren't you?

I'm not sure I know how to deal with the problem I'm raising with you. It helps to understand that the person is misdirecting his anger at you, but it doesn't take away the offense. It helps to realize that he was upset by bad news about a friend's death or her child's illness at school, but knowing the reason behind a certain nasty or heartless behavior is not enough to excuse it. Okay, so he feels bad, but he still didn't have to behave like such a jerk!

The best each of us can do today is to keep his own line of sight relatively clear. If things were tense at home over the weekend or as you left for work this morning, resolve that you won't take it out on the people around you right now. They don't deserve it. They don't need it. They may not handle it well.

Suppose, on the other hand, that something really unpleasant or stressful happens today at work. The great temptation will be to take a bad attitude with you at the end of the day and make your mate, children, or friends pay for it.

Do you need to stop right now and ask God to help you clean your spiritual windshield? It'll sure beat going through the day with a poopy outlook on life.

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