WE’D JUST BEEN ESCORTED BY OUR PORPOISE FRIEND INTO OUR SLIP AT ARABELLA’S LANDING IN GIG HARBOR AND WERE FEELING PRETTY BLESSED.
We got all settled in and decided to just relax in the cockpit, enjoying the warmth and the simplicity of being on the water. The weather was lovely and the sun was beginning to set.
All of a sudden a large boat in the slip across from us revved their engine.
And revved their engine.
And revved it some more.
Pretty soon, it seemed they set the throttle to high and just left it there.
Diesel fumes filled the air and the rumble of the engine made it difficult to carry on a conversation, or even to think straight.
Exasperation was growing and I finally asked Ross,
“Can’t the management do something about this? It’s obnoxious!”
He informed me that there was a 20 minute limit to running a motor in most marinas around the Pacific Northwest. It seemed to me that it had been well past 20 minutes, so I called the office and complained, whining to the manager in hopes that she’d see my point and pull rank on those working on the boat.
“What’s the slip number? Ohhhh, sorry. They are long term marina residents and have been working on their boat for a while. We can’t really hold them to the 20 minute rule, so I apologize for the inconvenience!”
She was so cheery, it irked me.
Indignation rose inside me as the incessant noise continued. After about 45 minutes I started wondering if we should ask for a different slip on the other side of the marina. It really didn’t seem to bother Ross, but I sure was having a miniature temper tantrum over the whole thing.
All of a sudden I thought of an author friend of mine whom I interviewed on my radio show while I was in Texas. Cynthia Ruchti, although she is primarily a novelist, had just released a non-fiction book entitled Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices. In it, she told story after story of how the lives of those who loved God were turned upside down, and some altered for life, all because of someone else’s bad choice. She went on to share principles from the Word of God used by those who were hanging on to ragged hope and doing their best to survive that fallout. Some of the stories were tragic, and some were highly annoying, and others at all points in between. But in each case, those who were the victims chose to do what Jesus would do in the situation. Show love, have mercy, forgive.
As the Lord brought that interview to mind, conviction began to flood my heart. I was reacting like a spoiled child who couldn’t have what she wanted, and I felt pretty darned justified in my resentment. As my heart began to melt, I asked the Lord if there was a lesson here to learn.
In an instant, there was silence. In the blink of an eye, the atmosphere was back to being peaceful.
I relished the quiet. And the thought came.
Someone else’s activity that seemed rude to me didn’t have to ruin my day.
So what’s ruining your day?
What inappropriate actions of others are causing you to lose your cool?
And what are you going to do about it?
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