How often do your feelings dictate your decisions?
I dislike that question 🙂
Perhaps its because it touches a wee bit to close to home for me!
I am not talking about being a crier when I preach on Sunday mornings! I am talking about – you feel hungry – and your response is always – LETS EAT!
Or someone says something to you at work that hurts a bit and you ‘anonymously’ take to social media 🙂
Probably my favorite is when someone posts something online and everyone reacts! Then in the news feed someone writes ‘fake news’ – and the feed stops!
So funny to me. We (I) react so quickly and often – that it often makes us look ‘dumb’! We are not a society that fact checks anything; we claim we do research when we see an article; we want to be smart/wise with little effort; we haven’t been taught how to control emotions – so we call it freedom of speech, or fighting for rights etc.
But to lay ones self down for a belief is very different. It is calculated and it costs something. It is not something done on a whim. We must work at it!
Hockey has been one of my favorite sports since I was very young! You never know what is going to happen 🙂
I remember early on that someone lost their cool on the ice (surprising – i know). After the game my Dad and I had a conversation. He told me that ‘if I ever lost my cool on the ice – he would personally come on to the ice, remove me from the game, take off my skates – and I would never play hockey again!’
Idle threat? not with my Dad. His word was his bond! It would have happened. I knew it – and therefore I was cured of all anger problems on the ice – for almost my whole life!
Moving into my adult life was an interesting road. It took me some years to learn that my Dad was not attending my games anymore, and I was bigger and stronger now. The other players had begun to wear off on me some – and reactionary hockey was another phrase for old timer hockey – I had finally hit my prime!
I remember my attitude starting to shift. I could feel the emotions starting to take control of me. It wasn’t over night – but it was a slow fade.
As I started growing a beard, filling out, adding some weight – it was time to flex some of my muscles – after all it was part of the game – right?
Well, this lead me to a game where I was pulling a manoeuver that looked an awful lot like Wayne Gretzky or Crosby! I was burning (this may be a slight exaggeration – it could have been more like – I was trying to skate…) up the left side of the rink and I got tripped by some guy just over the blue line. I fell pretty hard – and my first reaction was not good. Before I even hit the ground – retaliation kicked in! I was wrongfully accused! Did this guy even know who I was (Pastor Al’s Son)! My mother was tougher than this guy! Does he know (fill in the blank) …. And with all my power I took my stick and swung as hard as I could to catch his ankles and give him a solid reminder of who I was and how he should never pull such an outrageous move on me again!
Oh ya, the justification for justice in those moments are rich. I was absolutely in the right, he deserved what was coming to him. In fact, in that split second you could walk through everything that caused him to deserve this reaction – during this game alone – never mind all the other games that he played where he did not receive justice from the refs. He was an animal out there. No care for anyone 🙂
EMOTIONS WERE RUNNING EVERY DECISION FOR ME THAT EVENING!!
I am so thankful what happened in the moments that followed. I experienced a whole other set of emotions.
I call it emotions – highly probable option – the HOLY SPIRIT went to work!
Guilt, Shame, Embarrassment, Conviction – and the thought of ‘what has happened to me’. This was not who I was nor who I wanted to be! I didn’t want to be known as a snap job on the ice – I wanted to have the reputation of being the kindest, nicest, hardest working guy on the ice. I wanted guys to be frustrated with me on the ice – because they couldn’t rile me, because I worked hard, and because when someone burned me bad – I could skate over and congratulate them on their skill. I truly wanted to represent Jesus while I played.
I am thankful that I missed his ankles that day – perhaps it was Gretzky that took me down and I was … can’t remember!
I made a decision right then and there – I was not going to ever lose my ice on the cool again! I was going to work towards being who I wanted to be and who Jesus wanted me to be on the ice!
I have often been told that I am a really nice guy. That everyone likes me! That took work!
Now, I am not advocating to just be nice people! But that sure would be a good start 🙂 It takes effort and work! But it is who I truly wanted to be. Someone that cared about others more than myself. Someone that truly loved others. Someone that was a good winner and a better loser. Someone who lived out Romans 12 “…if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
How about you? Do you react? Are your emotions high? Start to recognize it – and then start changing it! If you want to really push yourself in this area – find a few verses that speak about this – and memorize them. That way – as you are working through the change – God can remind you of truths from his word!
Maybe its not emotions! Maybe you have a bad habit 🙂
Maybe you have convinced yourself that its fine and it doesn’t matter! On the other hand – maybe you can work towards a change in that area too?
Side story: When I was in Bible College there was a time I was supposed to share my testimony at a church. When I had finished and thought that it went really well, a friend of mine turned to me and said ‘you said ummm 32 times – I counted’. (the number is not accurate – but it was a lot). He then smiled like it was funny!
I decided that day – I had to deal with my ‘umming’. Today I am a pastor. I don’t think I say um that often 🙂 umm I chose to, umm not get offended and ahh rather umm do sss ummm thing about it! (Ike Unger is a pastor today too – he will likely not remember that he said this to me – but if he reads this – ‘thank you for telling me Ike – it changed me’.)
Ok, that’s it for me! Write me a funny emotion story! Maybe I can have a whole blog on your failings and not just mine! Talk to me – have a great day.
And as you are sorting through some of these things – maybe you need to pop into our prayer room at church – and be in a place where you are not distracted – to memorize scripture, talk to God about what you are struggling through etc.
No better day to start the change then today!!