today i went to krispy kreme with joselyn because we missed our turn at the previous light and decided to stop for a donut.
i parked next to a huge red truck with a mother and two sons in it. i opened my door and accidentally tapped her car, (really, i'm not exaggerating, it was a tap) but i didn't realize it so i kept walking.
she opens her door and comes barreling out,
"hey! you just hit my car with your door!"
"oh my gosh i'm so sorry, i didn't know i did that!"
"you doored me real good! i heard a huge thump inside my car!"
"i am so sorry ma'am."
she examines her car, but it's covered in mud. there is literally not a scratch.
"okay you can't see the scratch because it's too dirty."
"i really am so sorry," i said, "i didn't mean to do that."
"it's okay, you cant tell."
"okay, well you have a great day!"
"you, too," she said.
and then i walked in.
then, i watched her as she proceeded to inch her car back and forth in the parking stall until she was close enough to mine to produce a good scratch on my door. i came back outside to find two good, deep, red scratches on my driver's side door.
and i don't even care about my car. it's the crappiest thing in the world, and i don't know if she noticed but i have a large collection of other scratches hangin' out on that thing. but my heart is still so bothered because that's not the right thing to do.
it's not right to seek revenge, especially when people have made honest mistakes. it's not right to harbor grudges and to send meanness into the world. what has our world come to? we do not need any more anger. we need people who are kind, courteous, respectful.
i wonder about her two sons and the kind of example she's setting for them. i wonder what they will do one day when they get hurt far worse than a car-door bump. i wonder if they realize that a scratch on a car is literally the smallest problem in the world. there are so many awful things going on every day and we should never waste our time being angry at the small stuff.
i think that the reason our society has gone downhill so far is because our people sweat the small stuff. so many are turned to anger about tiny things that don't matter, and it escalates up and up, through small people to more prominent people and small problems to problems blown out of proportion and soon we have terrorists; we have a war on our hands.
and i think we are like soldiers, us kind people. we are the troops that God uses to occupy satan's territory of anger and distrust. we are undermining the adversary when we choose to forgive, when we choose to let go, when we choose to smile, when we choose to love, even when our love will be one-sided.
and i think so much about our character is determined by the decisions we make in the face of tiny injustice and annoyance and fear.
you know, God quizzes us. he sends us tiny problems to test our reactions--have we learned right? and those quizzes simultaneously determine the trust God will have in us as well as prepare us for the tests. and it's good to pass the quizzes; it's wonderful. but it's more important to learn from them, to realize that this is the small-scale material that one day we will have an big test on. and we had better be ready, or we will see the consequences.
pay attention, this is a pop quiz. you know the right answer.