Confessions of a Missionary: I Am Easily Annoyed

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Years of living in the Australian culture that has as it’s motto “no worries mate she’ll be right” has created  in me a relaxed and laid back attitude towards life.  This doesn’t mean I never become anxious, but that worry usually leads to healthy responses like dealing with the problem instead of panicking.  Embracing the no worries culture and having an introverted or quiet personality makes some people believe that I never get angry at all.

They have no idea how wrong they are

Please understand I’m not one of those people who go around angry all the time, but small insignificant things tend to annoy me.  Like the car in front of me driving five miles below the speed limit till I get into the left lane and then suddenly start going five miles over.  Or people who when seeing someone walking towards their car in a parking lot wait for the open space oblivious to the ten cars behind them.  Usually these things don’t cross the line from annoying to infuriating but for the last few weeks that’s been pretty hard to do.

Recently I realized that there is a huge difference between August 2012 John who could run fifteen miles on a Saturday (training for a Marathon) and August 2013 John who couldn’t run five without dying.  This came from a combination of things like poor diet, humid conditions in the summer, and being just plain lazy :-).  Thankfully that realization motivated me to get myself back into shape, and step one was going on a strict diet.

My physical needs called for something called a VLC (very low calorie) diet that consisted of drinking shakes for two meals a day.  The good news is the two-week VLC period did bring results, the bad news was it dramatically affected my patience for annoying people.  It’s normal to feel weak and have little energy with a VLC diet, so it’s pretty easy for me to turn from easy going  “no worries John” to a angry John in a moment.

Now that phase two of the diet has started (consisting of eating healthy snacks between meals) I am wondering if angry John was there all the time, and it just took the change in eating habits to reveal him.  Since that time I’ve caught myself getting frustrated or annoyed many times during the day about things that in the long run just aren’t worth getting worked up over.

Evidently angry John has always been there but I’ve been constantly appeasing him with donuts and Pepsi products

There’s actually nothing wrong with being annoyed as long as we control our emotions (I’m look at you Mr. speed up because that guys going to pass me 🙂 ).  But those moments of frustration can be used for evaluation as we ask ourselves “is this really worth getting worked up about?”  Looking at our angry side can be a pretty frightening experience, but go ahead and face him anyways; you may be surprised at what you learn.

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John Wilburn

Church planter, teacher, and disciple-maker in Barrouallie St. Vincent

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