Being followers of Christ, we are not exempted from the daily troubles any person faces. One of the most common? Conflicts. It can be as petty as, differences in food preference, your little quarrels with your siblings when you were young, and who’s going to use the bathroom first.
Or it can be as serious as, an argument in your office or business, or an encounter with your angry colleague who doesn’t like you that much, or simply a certain person who prefers you to be his “mortal enemy.”
In the heated moments when the “seemingly serious” conflicts arise, when we are about to burst in rage or anger, may we have that split second decision to take another path. And that, is the path of the wise.
I’m going to share with you a prayer that I’ve written when I was in such a situation. Yep. I had the chance to keep my mouth shut for a few minutes and write. I call this, “The Prayer of the Wise”.
Lord, let me acknowledge my human limitations
For at times, following you is almost too much to bear
When I am tested to my limits, give me wisdom, so not to commit foolish mistakes
Let Your Holy Spirit guide me to take the path of the wise
When there is prejudice, give me something to doubt
When conflict arises, give me a calm and composed mind
When hurting words are about to be spoken, let me bite my tongue
You know every son and daughter you have created
Give me the understanding that everyone is unique in a lot of ways
Let there be acceptance on my part to not worry myself to death on things I cannot change
Remind me Oh Lord, that growing in the Spirit is a journey
And that I should not be too hard on myself when I make mistakes
And if my troubled mind persists,
May the virtue of your love shine the most.
(You can print or save this prayer. Pray this every time you are tempted to burst in anger)
After writing this, you know what happened? I felt enlightened. At peace. I didn’t quarrel. Realizing it’s not worth it (Though there are times that we have to face a certain situation. You should discern when would that be. But that’s another matter). I just let it be. Perhaps the other person had a bad day. Or is going through some tough times. Perhaps in their family or in his work. Or the way that person talks and reacts could be the result of the environment they grew up. I don’t know. But what could have happened if I reacted in another way? What if I said something hurtful? What if I insulted that person? (People can be experts in making insults to someone. The result of bad media) I could have lost that person, plant more anger, and… I could have been the “bad” person in the eyes of the people around us. And you definitely don’t want that.
And the “seemingly serious” conflict that was about to arise? It was gone with the wind. Gone. Nada. Perhaps, there’s really nothing going on. But the human mind can be deceptive and defensive. Especially when there’s prejudice. That’s were it starts.
And the reason can be…
I’m warning you. You may not like this. You may not admit this to yourself. But the person you hate the most, “could just be” a projection of yourself. To explain this, here’s a story about two dogs.
There is a story they tell of two dogs…
Both at separate times walk into the same room.
One comes out wagging his tail while the other comes out growling.
A woman watching this goes into the room to see what could possibly make one dog so happy and the other so mad.
To her surprise she finds a room filled with mirrors.
The happy dog found a thousand happy dogs looking back at him while the angry dog found a thousand dogs growling back at him.
What you see in the world around you is a reflection of who you are.
To be happy or to be angry is up to you. You can choose. YOU HAVE A CHOICE.
By choosing to be happy on the inside, you can prevent the “seemingly serious” conflicts outside. Double benefits.
Take the path of the wise my friend.
Peace be with you.
Mark Lester Fernando