For the past few weeks, I found myself easily upset and spoke of harsh comments. I have known myself to be kind and gentle to my children. The boys had the same observation. Perhaps the upcoming school enrollment and our baby’s birthday celebration might have caused my crankiness.
Anyway, what is the point then?
A priest, through his sermon, shared the story of the TROUBLE TREE. I really like how the carpenter puts his trouble behind him and faces a new undertaking with a positive mood. It is something we ALL could learn from.
The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work. His electric saw quit, and now his ancient pick-up truck refused to start.
While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.
On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a tall tree, touching tips of the branches with both hands.
When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed with smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.
Afterwards he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.
“Oh, that’s my trouble tree” he replied. “I know that I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure. Troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I get home. Then in the morning I pick them up again.
“Funny thing is,” he smiled, “when I come out in the morning to pick ‘em up, there ain’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.”
Setting boundaries around our troubles is indeed a good way to put off unwanted conflicts caused by our grumpiness. Let us not make someone else miserable with our own unhappiness.
Sorry, boys, for being a nightmare. And thank you, dear Lord, for waking me up.