Not necessarily a hack, I just thought the title sounded cool.
So several weeks back I was in my hometown visiting. Long story short, despite my best efforts to keep my cool, someone set me off something good. It was one of those cases where weeks later, I was replaying the argument in my head and getting pissed off all over again. Now I’d say it was 50% wounded ego, 50% annoyance at myself for taking my eyes off God.
So what’s the hack? (again, not a hack, just sounds cool).
A week or so ago, in those random moments where the argument would rise up in me yet again and damage my calm I did something entirely BACKWARDS to how the world works. I prayed, but wasn’t a prayer to God to take the thoughts captive, no. It wasn’t a prayer to remove the anger from me and replace it with something good either.
I prayed for the dude that pissed me off. I prayed for the Lord to bless him.
Every single time.
It took maybe a week or so, but now if my mind loops back to that, it’s barely a blip on my cortisol radar. This does a few things the way I see it, first and foremost it sets my eyes back on God. Second, it reinforces the forgiveness I gave for the slight afterwards. Third, it has me praying intercessory for folks I may or may not ever see again, which is never a bad thing.
Now one other hack I’ve discovered (see previous disclaimers) again involves my own human ego which has zero interest in me furthering my relationship with Christ, or growing, or changing… Is when I feel that ego rising up in me, the anger, the angst… I no longer surf that wave of stress like I’m in the sequel to Point Break, I treat it like an alarm bell.
At first, it took quite a bit of effort and prayer to overcome it, but I knew that I was never going to be completely rid of it, so I converted my torment to a tool. 99% of the time when my ego kicks in, it means I need to pay attention. Whatever slight I’m getting angry about, there’s a situation there, a learning experience and a greater opportunity for prayer.
When it rises up in me my first thought is “pay attention” and my next thought is to pray.
Now I’m not only recognizing God moving in these instances, but I’m able to sop up the entirety of the experience like a sponge. I use it to grow, all the while worshipping Him who put it all together for my good and His glory.