Disastrous Week

Intense Pain When You Have Only Yourself To Blame!

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, found my recent discomfort humorous.  I told him that I had had a terrible, horrible, very bad week. It began when I was working at my computer, and I spilt a glass of water on my computer. I tried to rescue my computer from the water, but I was too slow, and it died on the desk, a sudden, innocent and senseless death.  I took it to the computer hospital, the specialist there pronounced it dead and forever gone. That was just the beginning.

When I went to close a kitchen window that same night, I pulled the latch off the window. The latch now has to be replaced, and I have to go outside to open the kitchen window. When I do that, I stand beside a once beautiful, but now dead basket of petunias that I overwatered. I was so focused on them not drying out in the heat that they became waterlogged and died.  Ed had great fun at my expense as he said, “It just proves you are a walking disaster, and everyone should stay clear of you.’’

I could not disagree with Ed when it came to my string of deadly actions. The hard thing about my disasters was that I had only myself to blame. I’m much better at blaming others than myself when things go wrong. It was very humbling to speak the truth and admit that I alone was to blame for all the dying and breaking that went on. Getting angry at others and blaming them is a convenient way to deal with disasters in life, but it was a luxury I could not claim.

When a person is to blame for what went wrong, how long should they keep being angry at themselves? Is it possible we are much better at being and staying angry at others than ourselves? It has been my observation that when others break or destroy our stuff we can keep anger towards them for hours, days and years. When we break or destroy our computers, we forgive ourselves faster than we would another person who broke it. Mostly, we decide that it is pointless to keep blaming ourselves for what we have done or failed to do. Blaming and being angry at ourselves is mighty unsatisfying and a useless waste of our time. When it comes to ourselves, we usually decide to move on and make the best of our disasters. Why do some of us have so much trouble forgiving others and moving on as if blaming and being angry at others isn’t pointless?

Perhaps if we forgave others as fast as we forgive ourselves, we would be living out the ‘Golden Rule’ more closely. The golden rule states, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Sometimes I do not love myself especially when I kill my computer.  My ability to love can be small and my willingness to be angry and blaming large. I thank God for his great love towards us even when our ability to love ourselves and others is lacking. Christ Jesus died for us because we are sinners always struggling to love as God has loved us. To God be the glory for unconditional love towards us.

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Raymond Maher
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