Look! It's Foster and Tilly on the beach!
And the picture isn't blurry because I didn't take it with my camera phone (thanks Jean!).
Last week, we went to the doggie area of Sunset Beach with our human and dog friends. As usual, the other dogs are running and playing and generally having a great time. Then, as usual, Foster gets bent out of shape and starts barking and bristling, spoiling for a fight. Part of this is because he can't see, but part of it is because he's a playground bully.
Do you know anyone who goes through their life just waiting for something to trip their trigger so they can become angry, spoiling others' fun? Are you that person?
Being angry can become a very bad habit. Once our focus goes to the negative, it takes a lot of practice to overcome it. It's easy to see the negative, it's so often obvious! And there's a lot of energy that comes from hashing and rehashing the shortcomings of others or even a political party.
Think of that woman at work, who begins to complain about her husband. She has plenty of women jump on the bandwagon with their own complaints. Other women begin to focus on their husband's bad behavior, so they can have something to contribute to the water cooler conversation. Would there be the same enthusiasm for "My husband was so patient with me the other night"? That can be a conversation killer!
The above scenario destroys relationships. Foster can destroy the playtime of others. While I can't change Foster's attitude, I can keep him on a short leash so he doesn't actually get in a brawl. The same is true for me - I need to keep my negativity on a short leash. I need to focus on the positive. It's not something I've found I can do on my own. I have to pray for that All-mighty power to make that change within. Becoming more Christ-like is a prayer God wants to answer. Now, to remember to do so!
What trips your trigger? What are some positive things on which you can focus so being in your company will be a pleasure and not a pain? Do you like going to the beach?