This picture was sent to me awhile back. I must admit, I did laugh.
How creative… cheap entertainment for just $1, and yet, wildly annoying for the supermarket the next day.
I must admit, there have been times when a business or person has annoyed me. I haven’t been quick enough to retort with a witty quip or ‘get-you-back’ comment, or action, to highlight my displeasure.
Then afterward, while I was stewing over the issue, my mind would wander down the path of creative revenge. Some of the ideas begin to appease the anger as I devised a superior play-by-play response for ‘next’ time… and an evil chuckle would slip out.
But usually I would come to my senses and realise that my daydream revenge would remain just that, a daydream. But somehow, I wasn’t that satisfied. Especially next time I ran into that person or passed that business. The angry feelings would swiftly return each time… although some did diminish over time.
My fallback was to never buy from that business or person ever again and as a result send them broke – the ultimate nasty revenge. And when that actually happened, I would be delighted and my anger would finally subside.
What a way to live! If you could call it that.
Then one day I read this:
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not think you are superior. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
This is not always easy and I don’t always get it right. But I’m trying… and it’s getting easier each time. I can assure you that it brings greater joy and peace faster than my old ways.
For example: A little while ago I took some friends to a local cafe. We paid for our coffees, took our number to the table and waited. Finally, the coffees arrived – I’m sure I had skipped a Christmas between times. The young waitress was extremely unsteady in her delivery. The more she tried not to shake, she did. Our coffees were slopped all over the sides. The saucers were swimming and the biscuits were quickly soaking it up.
She didn’t say anything to us. Weakly smiled. And I think she muttered an ‘oops’. Turned and just walked off leaving us to clean up. How rude.
I was not happy with the dismal service. And a small annoyed banter rattled around our table as we discussed our delightful (sic) service.
But then I remembered the verses above.
At the end of our time at the cafe, and as is my custom, I cleared the table and returned all the empty cups to the counter. I asked to speak with the young lady who had served us.
She nervously approached the counter, her countenance was one of guilt, and she steeled herself for an expected rant.
I pulled out a One Million Dollar note. It looks like a AU$100 note, but is a Christian tract that shares the gospel. In this case, I wasn’t doing it for the message on the note; although I’m sure it was appropriate later.
I said to this young girl, “I’d like to give you a tip. You have a million dollar smile. One day, with good service, good skills and that smile, you may just earn a million dollars for real! Here is one for fun and as a reminder.” And I gave her a big smile. I popped a real tip in the Jar on the counter and I passed the $1,000,000 note to her.
By this time the concerned boss had discretely moved within listening distance and his eyes near popped out of his head – I think he thought it was a real $100 note tip I had handed her.
She quickly blurted out, “I’m so sorry for the coffees. It’s my first job… and my first day!” Looking at the note in her hand in disbelief , then back at me, shyly a huge grin emerged.
I can tell you that I had made her day.
And the real truth is, I had made my day!
It felt good.