...or so they say.
Monday was "one of those days" for me. I worked all day, and hadn't been able to sleep the night before.
Running on four hours of sleep, after work I decided to go to Walmart and grab a few things I needed. Walmart is probably my least favorite place, and I try to avoid going there. But sometimes it's just easy, especially for Christmas gifts, since they have pretty much everything.
Anyway, I was finally almost finished with my shopping and looking for one last thing: chocolate syrup, per my husband's request.
I could not find it. I went through almost every aisle three times and looked for 15 minutes. I was grumpy, not smiling at people I passed, and hovering annoyingly when people were in my way, and even muttering under my breath. I was so mad I couldn't see straight. I just wanted to get home!
Anyway, I finally found the chocolate syrup, across from the candy (no, it never occurred to me to look in the candy aisle for chocolate syrup :-P This is why I hate Walmart).
On the drive home, I was feeling a little silly for getting so worked up over something so petty.
Then it happened. I was sitting in a line of cars behind a red light. There was a big SUV in front of me, and I couldn't see around it. And I wasn't really paying attention to the cars in the other lane anyway. Traffic started moving, and I started moving with it.
Well apparently a lady in a red car heading the other direction thought that I was going to let her turn in front of me. My car started coasting forward as traffic started moving, and the lady in the red car just started turning into my car. I slammed on my breaks and waved her on feeling apologetic and a little embarrassed that I hadn't noticed that she needed to turn, and hadn't stopped to let her.
Apparently this lady was having a bad day like I was, because she. was. mad. I saw her screaming at me as she turned her car in front of mine, and then she showed me a not-so-nice hand gesture.
I was appalled. Thinking back on it, I'm still angry. She was the one who pulled her car in front of mine, causing me to slam my breaks, right?? She would have been the one at fault if our cars had collided.
I know we've all been there. I was so mad and frustrated at what had happened! And mostly at the lady in the red car.
I was mad that she was the one who had almost caused the accident. And I was really mad that she got so angry acting as if I was at fault. Yes, it would have been kind of me to let her turn, and I definitely would have if I had seen that she needed to. But for heaven's sake, I certainly hadn't done it on purpose because I'm just a mean-hearted person!
Mostly I was mad that I had to put up with people like this during what should be the happiest time of the year. Aren't we supposed to show more love this time of year? Aren't we supposed to show compassion to our brothers and sisters? Couldn't she have handled the situation with a little more grace? I was angry that that lady was taking her stress out on me.
And then I realized that I needed to look in the mirror.
No, I hadn't screamed at anybody that day or flipped anyone off, or to my knowledge, made anyone cry.
But my attitude while I was shopping was just the same as the lady in the red car's.
I let the stress get to me, just as she had. I wasn't being loving or even friendly to those around me.
It was a hard lesson, and not a fun one to learn. I was crying off and on for hours (not just because of that incident, but because of all the events of the day combined, plus my lack of sleep). Anyway, I think God needed to show me something. I need to stop getting caught up in the stress of this season! And I need to be extra loving this time of year. Especially to people like the lady in the red car.
For the next five days, I will change my attitude. We are celebrating the birth of The King! In light of that, it seems silly to get so worked up over such little things.