Let It Go

Putting Anger in its Place

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It was a beautiful Spring day, but I was mad. It was getting late in the day, and my mom still hadn't picked me up from school. Two of my classmates were tossing a softball to each other about five yards away from where I was waiting when Randy, a big guy, overthrew the softball and nearly struck my shoulder.

“What do you think you're doing?” I yelled. “Watch where you're throwing unless you want to be punched!”

“Sorry for almost hitting you, Jason. You don't have to yell, it was an”

“I'll yell all I want!” I cut him off. “Don't do it again!”

Luckily, Randy had a gentle heart and didn't thrash me when I exploded at him. I had let my anger get the better of me once again.

I had attended Christian schools since Kindergarten, so it was hard to listen when my teachers taught verses from the Bible about people who got angry easily. Still, I couldn't change. My mom always told me to adjust that attitude of mine before she adjusted it for me. But I didn't know how to adjust my attitude. I didn't know why I always snapped at people when they weren't doing anything wrong. And I didn't think anyone could help me. No one understood the beast inside me that attacked innocent people – or so I thought.

I'll never forget the day that turned my life around. It was late Fall, the trees were bare, and the air was dry. After putting on my newest suit for church, I walked out to the kitchen to get some food.

“C'mon, let's go,” my stepdad said.

“Go where?” I asked.

“To church. We are going to be late if we don't leave now. You can eat in the car. Now let's go,” he said firmly.

I went off. “I will not eat in the car; I'll eat right here!”

I never expected his reply. “Jason,” he said, “we're getting professional help for your attitude. Here, read this,” and he handed me what looked like an ordinary Bible.

“This is just a Bible,” I mumbled.

“Get your breakfast to go and then just read it,” he commanded.

I reluctantly went along, grabbed some breakfast, and later that day found myself reading that Bible. For the next year, I read it whenever I could. I read during lunch, between classes, before bed. I finally finished it the next Fall, and decided to be baptized. But without realizing it, my tantrums had decreased. I'd become a calmer person, and found it easier to make friends and be around others.

Today, I know how to manage anger and worry so it doesn’t get the best of me. And it's all thanks to that Fall day when my stepdad handed me a not-so-ordinary Bible. It changed my life. Maybe someday I'll be able to hand my “ordinary” Bible to someone else, and maybe it will change his or her life as it has mine. Incredibly, anger management, once my greatest weakness, has become my greatest strength.

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