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Toilet Paper, Mustard and Eggs

tp.jpgAfter pulling wet toilet paper off of the trees and bushes in my front yard and after scrubbing the foul language written in mustard off my vehicles and garage doors (that now have to be repainted) and after taking the garden hose to the eggs splattered against my house, I got to thinking. Whoever did this was…you might say…upset? I don’t know what I did to cause it. Whatever it was, they had to do something to get back at me. How easy it must be to go to the supermarket, buy a six-pack of toilet tissue and a giant-size bottle of mustard, and vent one’s frustrations.

Admittedly, I did have some extraneous thoughts run through my mind as my wife, my son and I cleaned up the mess at six o’clock in the morning. I wish I knew who did this. Were they kids from the neighborhood or kids I knew? Who was the ringleader? I wish I had caught them red-handed. I wish I could have a heart-to-heart conversation with their parents, or grandparents…or BABYSITTERS! I wish I could make them get out here and clean this stuff off my house and cars.

But, I know better than to waste energy getting mad. These were mere juveniles who are not educated nor empowered to take care of their problems the right way. They could not stand up to me in the light of day. They could not risk revealing their identity. Either they did not have the courage or the honesty to call me up and ask for an appointment. The only option they felt they had was to make life a little more miserable for me. They didn’t mean for it to be vicious vandalism. They simply wanted to send me some sort of message. It’s up to me to figure out what it is.

Sometimes, I wish I could just bring an end to all my frustrations by doing something crazy like this. I would have little problem thinking of people who deserve to be tweaked a little bit for being jerks, for being irresponsible, for being selfish or for just being disagreeable. I mean, wouldn’t it be great to resolve all my grievances with presidents, senators, congresspersons, mayors and other officials by tee-peeing their houses? How about messing up the lawns of judges who ruled against me or who angered me with their decisions? Wouldn’t it be a hoot to squirt mustard all over the cars of the General Superintendent, the Assistant General Superintendents and the General Secretary of the United Pentecostal Church, International? Hey, we could load up ships with toilet tissue, mustard and eggs and go to our national enemies like North Korea and Iran and really teach them a lesson!

Just think of how much money and time this would save us. No more long, boring meetings. No more laboring and sweating over decisions; no more listening to the other side of an issue; no more letting people whom we don’t like have a chance to speak. Who wants to hear what they have to say anyway? In addition, we wouldn’t have to gather evidence, run down rumors, research documentation and end up voiding pet ideas that we have come to warmly embrace. We could actually cling to our prejudices and opinions if we could just use toilet paper and mustard!

But, life just isn’t that easy. People have to sit down like responsible adults and work out their problems. The give and take of life actually boils down to some giving and some taking. We cannot hope for lives free of troubles and trials. We can only call up our courage, our honor, our honesty and our forgiveness to get through it all. After the toilet paper, after the mustard, after the eggs, the problems don’t go away. If anything, they only get worse.

Let us resolve not to handle our problems with venting, spoiling, vandalizing, cursing and lashing out at people. Tactics like these only become distractions to the real work at hand. Love, honor, respect and reason can be tough virtues to maintain in the face of adversity, but anything less will only incite more difficulties. Paul’s words remain the best advice for conflict resolution. “Do not take revenge, my 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.” Romans 12:19-21.

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Reader Comments (1)

That was very intriguing. Who ever did that to you? I think it's just one of your neighbors. That only shows they are really uneducated persons. That is not a right way to show off anger or sadness.

February 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAisha from office cleaning

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