Many years ago, I was getting pretty torqued off at not-just-a-few of my friends, driving home on a Friday afternoon around two o'clock. They were not doing what I wanted them to do or, as I narrated it, what God wanted them to do and their sucking sucked.
Plus, my favorite red-headed sister is quick to remind: Angry people are trying to deal with their hurt alone.
So to set the stage, I typically drive circuitously, plus I like to go ways I've never gone--a commercial real estate habit. It will take me longer to get where we are going but we'll likely see things we forgot were there.
Anyway, my attitude was becoming less delightful the closer I got to home. It had been circling that chicken-livers-left-out-in-tupperware-for-over-a-week in early 1980s August. (It wasn't nice when we dumped that stench-fest on our skinny-dipping neighbors that night as kids; but it was hilarious. And it wasn't nice of them to immediately assume that it was probably "that Meggison kid," as they tried to find their maybe missing towels.)
Today, I can almost always spot when the fly-bys are swirling my thoughts because they always go dark: some variation of negative, hopeless, accusatory, tempting, hateful and confusing.
They hit me hard when I'm tired or hangry or thangry (like at the Fair on Friday, sorry honeys).
Anyway, fly-bys mostly speak in the first person so they love the word "I". They spit in our ears and their saliva is toxic thinking.
They start a lot of sentences in our thoughts with that so-personal pronoun; but remember they're liars and they lie.
They never think what at least the Internet claims Lincoln thought, "I don't like that guy very much. I better get to know him better."
Fly-bys have no power to stay without my agreement--so it is best not to entertain them.
I heard the Holy Spirit interrupt the volley as I was turning down a street I wasn't familiar with, saying, "Pull over." It was in the middle of the street.
In reality, it wasn't just my friends who kept abandoning me or making stupid relationship decisions that made me angry. It was God I was torqued off at, too; for not stopping them--for not helping me. I thought He was being selfish! He wasn't, but I thought He was that Friday.
Holy Spirit then said, "Look up," which I did, through the sunroof of my Jeep Liberty at the sky and He said, "At the sign."
Now when I say "He said" I mean I had this sense to do it and/or I actually heard Him gently speak into my thoughts.
Sometimes I actually hear complete sentences like in a conversation, sometimes He just leads me with this recognition software/"knower". Sometimes I see pictures or video clips--other times maybe I will feel something richly---otherworldly in my emotions. There are a myriad of ways I've found He uses to get His message across.
Whatever the delivery, it changes me for the better. His communiques always have some sort of revelatory watermark, like "Man, that was so unexpectedly brilliant!" or "I feel really close to God right now." or love bursts out of your heart or tears well up or joy.
Stay close to love. Use Phillipians 4 and the Galatians 5:22 list or 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14 for indicator lights and guard rails. And Romans 8! For starters.
Anyway, I found myself parked in the intersection of Longview Court and Longview Drive and He said in His time-and- space-live-inside-Me whisper, "Son, love is patient."
And that festering rage and disappointment and hurt received comfort from The Comforter. And the thoughts skattered and that swirl has never returned anywhere near the degree it was on me that day towards pain in friendships. We comfort with the comfort with which we ourselves have received comfort.
Friends are going to make stupid decisions (ps: so are we).
So, I learned that day More L.I.P. (Love is Patient).
Less lippiness--griping, moaning, woe-is-me'ing.
When was the last time you asked The Comrorter to comfort you?
It is a remarkable way He keeps the fly-bys in other airspace.