She came in like she was on PCP (or way too much caffeine). I couldn’t believe her rudeness. She was vicious, furious, and brutal. It was as if my home were being invaded by Viking hordes or shaken to its foundation by a powerful earthquake.
If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it, but what she did will forever be etched into my brain.
Everybody knows that when you take butter from the cube, you don’t desecrate it by cutting a huge hole in the middle! For Pete’s sake, cultured adults know how to delicately take a slice from one end or the other and, preferably, from the same end that’s already been used.
I was shocked. It will be a cold day in Hades before I let her into my kitchen again. This travesty was similar to the time I caught our cat eating the butter cube. That time I think I threw up in my mouth.
Okay. You might be thinking, Bubna, you’ve lost it! And trust me, I did for a second or two. Then this ridiculous thought fluttered through my brain: Maybe it doesn’t matter, or it’s not that big of a deal.
Of course, a mutilated butter cube isn’t anything to lose sleep over, but isn’t it funny how we let little things get under our skin?
I know this “butter massacre” wasn’t truly an act of violence. Not for a second do I want to make light of the life-threatening brutality happening in our world.
My point is simply this: Sometimes we make a lot out of a little (notice how I avoided the mountain/molehill cliché?).
Sometimes we go ballistic over silly things that just don’t matter.
Okay, so your kid left his socks on the floor—again—but life will go on.
Yeah, he forgot to put the toilet seat down for the 100th time, but is it worth a meltdown?
She left the car for you—on empty. Guess you’ll have to get some gas and choose to be grateful for the millions of good things she does for you.
Sure, nobody likes to get treated poorly by someone who is supposedly in customer service, but perhaps you should be kind nonetheless.
Lots of us are famous for losing the bigger picture way too often. We get so focused on the things we want, and we get grumpy when things don’t go our way.
If you’ve ever tried to sleep in a tent with a mosquito, you know that occasionally, little things do matter. However, more often than not, we’ve blown something completely out of proportion.
Five things to do when your “butter” is violated:
Stop and ask one simple question: Will this matter in a week, a year, or ten years from now? Probably not. So why damage a relationship, something that always matters?
Pick your battles carefully. Fight for justice. Fight for equality. Fight for life. However, fighting with your teenager over a nose ring or sagging pants might be foolish. Lots of things are a matter of personal taste rather than an issue of sin or national security.
Remember how many times you’ve pushed someone else’s button. The best way to give mercy and grace is to bring back to mind the number of times you’ve been the recipient of unmerited kindness.
Develop a servant’s heart, which involves putting the needs of others before your own. I had put the butter out for my friend, and she got what she needed (even if I didn’t like the way she met her need). A servant serves. Period.
Acknowledge the fact that most of your pet peeves became an issue because you have issues. As a child, I was forced to live with ridiculous standards in an environment that demanded perfection. The “butter problem” is my problem with perfectionism, not her problem with a knife.
I write about relationships. A lot. Because relationships matter. A lot. What is important is the connection and friendship I have with a dear friend, not my butter cube. It’s long gone. She’s not.
Anything tick you off recently?
Maybe that thing is just a thing, and you would do well to walk through the five steps I’ve outlined above.
It might just be butter.
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
Psalm 34:14 (NIV)
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