I think I’ve got the beginning of a cold. Ugh. Got the throat thing. You know the kind. It’s like you have a golf ball up under your jaw, the throat isn’t necessarily sore but things taste metallic. And you’re not quite sick enough to be really sick, but you’re right on the edge. Yeah. You know what I mean. I see the heads nodding in agreement. Yuck.

Went to Vespers Saturday and attempted to sing and chant. Hit enough wrong notes that I figured I’d bag singing today. I figured with talking all morning in Sunday school, the last thing I needed to do was sing for 90 minutes then chat at coffee hour. It was a good choice. But…I will confess…there was another reason.

I love the choir director. I really do. On occasion he gets a tad cranky, especially when you hit a wrong note. What makes me nuts is the vehemence with which he dismisses you when you sing wrong. Very grumpy, leaning towards downright nasty. So I got the nasty hush up waves and frowny face. Okay already! I stopped singing.

We wrapped up and were exiting the church. I held the door for a visiting priest since negotiating steps is difficult with his cane. The choir director was closing up. I turned and said nicely and politely, Don’t forget the light! And he responded, I’ve been here longer than you! I know what I am doing Oh all knowledgeable one! That’s what we’re going to put on your icon Philippa…Oh All Knowledgeable One!

To say I was embarassed is an understatement. Offended too. Frankly, to make such a crack about being on a icon really hit me the wrong way. It felt right on the line of sacrilige. I know…I know…that’s overblowing the statement. True. But you know what I mean. It just cozied up a tad to close for me. You just don’t make those kinds of jokes.

I made some smart crack back at him, turned and left. All the way home it bothered me. I woke up this morning still a tad bothered. All the way to church I thought about how much power I give this individual to push my buttons. Ding-dong! Avon calling! He enjoys pushing my buttons and has told me so, just to enjoy the button-dance!

Now I know, this is not about the choir director. It is about my response. It is my responsibility to examine myself, try to understand why he gets to me, why I allow him to have the power to get to me, and figure out how not to let this person get to me; whether buttons are pushed or not.

All of this was slowly coursing through my mind as I prayed during Divine Liturgy. For whatever reason, I glanced to my right and momentarily gazed at the icons next to me. There was St. Isaac the Syrian. He was writing in the small book. What was he writing you ask?

Above all else, love silence.

Who says God doesn’t speak directly? Right between the stinkin’ eyes! I smiled to myself and wrote the phrase in my little prayer book.

Thank you God, for teaching me a good lesson. Thank you for putting me right next to St. Isaac this morning. St. Isaac pray for us!

Ding-Dong! Avon calling! Sorry…nobody’s home!


3 thoughts on “Ugh

  1. This reminds me of the story of Hannah, the mother of the Prophet Samuel, especially the part at which she is struggling in prayer, and unjustly accused, yet responds mildly. Still working on that myself…

  2. When I was playing Dean at the College I had a hard time from more than on Prof who felt that they were smarter than me. Most were, but one got really ticked off about a decision I had made and blew up. I simply gave him the silent treatment for weeks. We finally became friendly again.

  3. Goodness, the choir director`s comment was exceedingly harsh ( and that`s coming from me, the mistress of sarcasm !)
    I`m not surprised you were hurt, I would have been too…..

    But your final analysis is spot on .
    Keep in mind St Isaac`s words.To respond in kind is the easy way, but is often counter-productive; it is harder to follow the saint, but the way is blessed.

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