Daily D – Proverbs 12:16
A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted. PROVERBS 12:16 (NLT)
Our son and I drove from Virginia to Texas a couple of days ago. We spent the night in Knoxville, Tennessee in a nearly-empty hotel. I flew to Washington D. C. beforehand on a nearly-empty plane. I arrived at a nearly-empty Washington Reagan airport. The roads were busier. The eighteen-wheelers were keeping the supply chain in operation.
We arrived home night before last around 10:30 PM. We had journeyed 1,278 miles on the road. We were tired. I awoke yesterday morning later than normal and groggy. Two cups of coffee later, I was still not fully alert. When someone says, “It’s not the years, it’s the miles,” believe them. Age has something to do with it, too, however.
Then the phone rang. The homeowner’s association president was calling to ask me if we had been disturbed by possible burglars in our part of the neighborhood overnight. Reportedly, around three o’clock in the morning, someone had attempted to break into the trailer attached to our son’s pickup. The police came and noted nothing out of the ordinary. Upon investigation, they were right.
The HOA president is a good man, a retired minister, and we had a pleasant discussion. Of course, what came next is no surprise. Our neighbor complained about us parking the truck and trailer along the curb at the back of their house. However, we would block our driveway or our neighbor’s if we parked in front of our house. The HOA president alerted me that she was walking toward our house. He hung up to intercept her.
After thirteen years, the woman who has alienated, irritated, and aggravated everyone in the whole neighborhood finally turned on us. We stood in our front yard, two ministers, a preacher’s wife, a preacher’s son, his wife, and their baby, and listened for forty-five minutes while she unburdened herself over all the completely criminal things we as a neighborhood have done to her.
Her husband joined in for a while and attempted to say something until she shushed him rather impolitely and continued talking without allowing apology, remedy, solution, or conversation. It was truly amazing to hear all she said. She named every offense made by every neighbor in our part of the neighborhood, including our new next-door neighbor who loves everybody and actually said something nice about our highly-offended friend when we had dinner together last week.
I finally shook hands with the HOA president and said, “I’ve got to go to work.” Our family went inside our house and licked our wounds.
The hardest thing in the world sometimes is keeping your cool when someone else is losing theirs. A person can bite his or her tongue only so long before drawing blood. Sometimes it is wiser to walk away. We do not have to attend every argument to which we are invited.
Today’s verse made me chuckle. At least by this standard, I am a wise man. Better a wise man than a wise guy. If I had attempted to rebut everything, or anything, we heard yesterday morning, the police might have returned on a different errand.
I will keep praying for my neighbor and treat her the way I want to be treated.
Our Father, as far as it depends on me, empower me to live at peace with my neighbor. Make our family a blessing to her. Relieve her of her many hurts. Comfort her tormented soul. Deliver her from evil. Amen.
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Daily D – Psalm 143:8-10
Psalm 143:8-10 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Daily D – Psalm 142:5
Psalm 142:5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
Daily D – Ezra 3:11-13
Ezra 3:11-13 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid. But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 35:22-25
2 Chronicles 35:22-25 After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, “Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!”
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 32:31
2 Chronicles 32:31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.