Later, when he came by to look in on her, she was sitting on the side of the treatment table, writing. She would pause occasionally and stare out into space, then resume writing. The young doctor was sure he had upset her so much that she was writing her will, or funeral instructions, or some other equally grave document. He went back in to try to calm and comfort her. He asked if she were writing her will. "Oh, no," she said, “just in the event I have been infected, I'm making a list of people I want to bite before I die."
Hostility is one of the most basic and most dangerous problems in all of life. The abrasive forces and frictions of life generate in each of us a certain amount of negative feeling each day. If this feeling is not immediately discharged on otherwise handled, it accumulates. This accumulation is subject to causing an untimely and inexplicable explosion of anger.
To be angry is to be human. To allow anger to fester and deteriorate into hostility is to endanger both soul and body. You may check your emotional health -and normalcy - by making a list of the people you would "like to bite before you die" and then check that list to see if they are the same people who were on the list last year. Then check to see if the reasons are the same. If the persons and reasons are the same year in and year out, you are in danger. If the people and the reasons change frequently, you are relatively normal. If the list is short, and frequently without names, you are growing in grace.
No human emotion is more common, or more combustible than anger. Anger is like fire, which can be used to cook a meal or to burn down a house. Don't let your anger see the sun set. When you are angry, ask God to guide you - He will.
© 2005, John C. Fitts, III. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted from Grace Drops, Volume 3 (2005).