I called my friend Barry when I was deep in grief and unloaded all my burdens on him.
I was angry. I was angry with people and circumstances that day. I spewed all my frustrations on my friend that sunny afternoon.
After my release of emotion I apologized for my rant. He replied, “Mike, if you are in the same place a year from now I’d be worried about you.”
Many years earlier before the death of my son Barry and I had a conversation about anger while sitting on his back porch.
He pointed at the enormous white pine in the back yard and made an observation.
He said, “You see that tree? When it was a sapling you could walk up and pull it out very easily with your hands. But now it has deep roots and years of growth. It will take a lot of hard work to remove it now.”
My wise friend has reminded me to forgive. He has also helped me with not allowing the sun to set on my wrath.
Why is this important? Because anger will grow into a larger more difficult issue down the road.
I was angry at a person who robbed me of something precious when I called Barry that day years ago.
I pulled the pine tree out and moved on. I refused to get stuck. I forgave, I learned, I moved on.
Perhaps there is a white pine in your life. Is it a sapling or have you let it grow large?
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
Don’t let the roots of anger and bitterness grow. Remember Jesus, pull up the saplings, forgive and love.