Halloween has interesting memories for me. I started in the copier repair business during Halloween week 31 years ago. 15 years ago, on Halloween night, I drove away from Pennsylvania for a new life in Colorado.
Despite those memories, Halloween has never been a favorite holiday. The witches and goblins of my childhood Halloweens scared me (or is that scarred me). The vandalism and references to evil turned my adult mind away from the holiday.
So what does that have to do with this “Tales From the Copier” series?
I tried to think of the scariest parts of my job.
The answer –
Don’t get me wrong, most of my customers are awesome. Even most upset customers are reasonable.
But every now and then…
One day when I still lived in Pennsylvania, I was called to fix a problem machine out of my territory.
Before I even started, the customer yelled at me about how horrible our service was and how I could take this machine and….
You get the gist. The customer was right about the machine, but not our service. I made sure they got a replacement. But how rude!
More recently, I was in a federal court house working on a ten-year old machine that had one jam in the previous month.
The judge walked in, saw me working, and got inches from my face and read me the riot act
about how the machine jammed all the time and that I needed to replace it! That one was tough because the judge was dead wrong, both about the machine and how he treated me.
I bit my tongue and told him I would pass his concerns to my boss and would do my best to get the machine working properly. That placated him for the moment. I should mention that whenever I went back there, I tried to go when that judge was not in.
What makes us turn to anger so quickly?
Someone cuts us off in traffic and we tend to shout unkind words their way.
Our child pushes our buttons and we get stubborn and loud.
Someone expresses an opinion opposite ours and we get ballistically defensive.
Perhaps we’re not at peace with ourselves and our world.
Just saying the words “inner peace” sets some of us off. Our minds conjure up visions of eastern meditation that send up red flags of heresy.
Shouldn’t those of us who follow the Prince of Peace have the most inner peace?
Why don’t we?
I can only speak for myself. If I don’t spend time with God every day, my mood is tougher to control. I find that the more time I spend with God (reading Scripture and praying) the more peace I have.
I don’t spend hours a day communing with God. But I start my day with a short time of reading and prayer.
Throughout the day, as time and activity permit, I talk to God.
I love the spot in Nehemiah where he prays as he’s in conversation with the King (Nehemiah 2:4-5). The King asks him a question he’s afraid to answer straight so he prays on the spot and answers the King.
That’s what prayer is often like for me. I’ll be going about my day and something comes up so I talk to God in the moment. Often, it’s that quick moment of trying to get God’s perspective that calms me.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t always do that. I get cranky and occasionally angry.This blog is for me as much as it is for you!
The season when we sing about Peace On Earth is fast approaching.
I’ll make you a deal – I’ll try to seek God’s peace in this season.
Let me know in the comment how you bring peace in the midst of trouble.
Better yet, encourage us all with stories of where you’ve seen peace brought into a tough situation.