I don’t know exactly why I felt as though I’d woken up on the wrong side of the bed today. I have so much to be thankful for but instead, felt disgruntled… or annoyed… or something. I saw my hair was kinked on one side when I switched the wash bay light on. Obviously I slept more on my right side last night. Yesterday’s mascara was speckled and smudged around my eyes, highlighting the bags of tiredness bunched up under them. I scrunched up my nose, leaned forward and tried to rub it off… or rub it in, as the case may be. “I thought I washed that off in the shower lastnight?” I rhetorically told myself. The ‘mirror me’ rolled her eyes at the ‘real me’ and stood back. Showering at night has benefits like saving time in the morning but washing away annoyance wasn’t one of them. I think I went to sleep this way.
The more I thought about the day ahead as I settled at the table to drink my morning chai, the more I felt disgruntled. One sip brought me to instant disappointment “Crud! I didn’t boil the kettle again!” I snapped at myself but as laziness goes, I sipped the tepid cup of dissatisfaction shooting the kettle the stink eye and began observing my mood from an internal perspective. “Yes,” I told me “I went to sleep annoyed – that’s it. Annoyed at what though?” Was it the Facebook message? Was it the thought of getting home too late to enjoy a meal and laughs with my family? Maybe it was how four hours extra at work made my home routine four hours stretched. Or maybe, I was just plain having a bad hair day. Surely that was the answer.
Sighing as I walked to the kitchen to put my cup in the dishwasher. “I need a laugh! Facebook funnies always get me going!” I was impressed with myself! My mind was working hard to switch me into a positive frame. An annoyed, offended sensation came over me like a wet blanket.
“Don’t ask people for help, they don’t care about you.” Some other voice chimed in. “See? That’s why you don’t bother going – nobody really cares. Not even to pray for you to get there…” it continued as if it was my best friend looking out for me. The voice was low, not particularly female, but not particularly male and definitely not my own. There was a velvety depth that led to a hateful abyss. I listened on with curiosity. “Tell you what. Stuff them! You don’t need them to pray for you. You’re doing well anyway and have been for the past few weeks. No one has checked in on you. You’re not missed. And just think, you’ll have time to do what you really want to do!” The stink eye settled on my face again. I noticed how the voice was speaking about other people but didn’t mention anything about my mascara or the kink in my hair. It didn’t bang on about being late home or staying up until 10:53 last night. It was specific in choosing what, and who, to speak about like a whisper in my ear.
As I walked through the station amongst the working class crowd to my office, the voice nagged at me. I didn’t say a word. I didn’t agree or disagree. I just observed, disconnected from the words being spoken. “No one ever calls you to see if you are okay. They don’t care that you might be struggling at times.” You’d think that this voice would know when to shut up. Ironically, the voice in itself became the annoyance and faded to black once I acknolwedged this fact. My hair had been fixed with the straightener, mascara back on my eyelashes where it belonged and a small hot skinny chai in my hand from Muffin Break. Everything was back in order.
Thinking back on the morning’s observations reminds me that there are little voices, maybe one or maybe a group of them, that like to stick their nose in your business. They sound friendly, seem to know what they are talking about and are quick to your ear but that doesn’t mean they’re there to help you.
I was annoyed about a facebook message I received in response to putting it out there that I needed help. I didn’t say so in so many words. Asking for help is not my key strength. I have access to prayer and I have a personal relationship with Jesus which means, I can approach the throne and ask for help at any given moment. I was offended by a particular response but I have lay down the offence and picked up peace, forgiveness and gratitude that I have people who do love and care for me around me always.
I have been struggling to get to connect. Each week brings a different challenge and each week I don’t go to connect. I work late, I haven’t seen my kids all day, something is on at school, school holidays etc and each week is a challenge because I am there in spirit, but just can’t get there in body. And that little voice is at my elbow, ever so slightly whispering in my ear…”…they don’t care about you. No one does…”. How quick the voice is to pick up where offence leaves off.
Be careful of the little voice. Not afraid. Just careful. It may lead you onto an off ramp you didn’t even notice before. Thankfully, Holy Spirit reminded me about being offended and annoyed.
Hate stirs up trouble, but love overlooks all offences ~ Proverbs 10:12 GNB
When a fool is annoyed, he quickly lets it be known. Sensible people will ignore an insult. ~ Proverbs 12:16 GNB
Next week, rain, hail or shine. Annoyed, offended or happy – I’m going to connect.