There’s a reason you do what you do. Let me tell you a story.
I had signed up to take refreshments to our adult Sunday school class. The sign up sheet for that month had been passed the previous month and I’d signed up knowing I would be out of town the week before. But I would return on Saturday so it was no problem to bring the refreshments.
The Saturday I returned from our week’s vacation, I listened to the messages on our voice mail. Among them were two messages from Cherie who was in charge of refreshments. The first message said, “Kathy, you are bringing refreshments this coming Sunday to class. Let me know that you can still do that.” In the second message. Cherie said, “Kathy, I haven’t heard from you so I’m assuming you can’t bring refreshments. I’ll get someone else to do it.”
As soon as I heard the second message, I went ballistic. My irritation and anger went sky high as I yelled at Larry, “I keep my promises. How dare she think I would be stupid enough to sign up for something I couldn’t do. That is so maddening. I think I’ll just bring snacks anyway to show her I keep my promises!”
Larry looked at me as if I were a mad woman. “Kathy, what’s the problem? It’s no big deal. I don’t see why this bothers you so much.”
“No big deal? You’ve got to be kidding me. Of course, it bothers me; it means she thinks I don’t keep my promises; that I’m a liar. It means she thinks I’m stupid or something.” I just kept sputtering the same thing as if it made sense. I was too upset to think through to my core feelings. I just knew that there was something really dangerous going on.
Though I was sorely tempted, I didn’t take snacks to class that next morning and it turned out that Cherie wasn’t there so I didn’t have to deal with my feelings toward her. But as a few days passed, I began to think more clearly about the incident. “Why, indeed, am I so bothered? Why, indeed, is this such a problem?” I didn’t know.
In my next post, I’ll tell you why I reacted that way.