Back in my growing up years, my mother always had the right words for when things didn’t work out as planned or when faced with a difficult situation. She was wiser than most and Ol’ Dutch has come full circle from rolling my eyes at such wisdom to using her examples as my own.
This has led me to be thought of as wiser than I am to which Miss Trixie says “Amen.” One of my Mother’s favorites -- used mostly when one of us got our feelings hurt by someone’s insensitive remarks -- was “offenses will come.”
She was always quick to point out that none other than J.C. Himself said this and so was to be taken as Gospel which, in fact, it was. If you look that up you can see that He was trying to prepare his disciples for the inevitable harsh words from the people around them and warned them that it’s just gonna happen no matter how nice you may be.
Take Ol’ Dutch (and, Miss Trixie wishes you would) for example. This past month I had a golden opportunity to be offended and even a legal right to do so. And just about the time I got all riled up, those words from my mother came back to me like a tsunami on an unsuspecting island.
Being a pastor’s wife my mother had plenty of opportunities to be offended in her life. It seems that about everyone in the church knew best about most things and were sure to tell her that. Alas, she had lots of practice of not being offended or at least not carrying that burden around.
Now Ol’ Dutch is not quite the woman she was -- I don’t know if I like the sounds of that -- but, I am trying to get better at unloading hurts a lot sooner than I used to.
It does not take much looking around these days to see a world full of people who have chosen to take offense at about everything from soup to nuts.
People are offended at mascots for ball teams, statues, meat eating, hunting, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and Halloween, politics, police, the military, cow farts, flags, and red and black hats. And this is the short list as I do believe there are just about as many things that people are offended by as there are people on planet earth.
Now Ol’ Dutch is not advocating that we should not take interest in things that are generally offensive and as a nation find ways to address those, but the anger seen today over some stupid stuff is just unbelievable.
All you have to do is make a mistake while driving or squeeze into a parking spot ahead of some entitled driver and you will experience anger boiling up to the point of scary violence. I guess they missed the part about offenses will come and moved onto the part about turning the other cheek and will offer to slap you twice for your faux pas.
Another nugget of wisdom my mom left me came up every time I complained about a bill or IRS statement or something concerning an unexpected outflow of cash. A child of the depression she saw some bad times and so whenever I would complain she would say, “Well just be glad you have it to pay.” That used to make me so mad. Of course I had the money but that was supposed to be for a new boat or shotgun or fishing stuff and not for the Infernal Revenue to waste on $7,000 bolts for a toilet seat.
So this week if you suddenly find yourself offended you at least can take comfort in the fact that even the 12 were warned about such things to come and you probably won’t die a martyr either.
And you can at least take comfort in knowing that the last part of that verse says, “woe unto those that cause offense.” Which in modern languages is translated, “What goes around comes around.”
At least we have not gotten to the point where green hats, green beer, leprechauns and four leaf clovers offend anyone and so Saint Patrick’s Day and John Deere tractors are safe for now.
Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected] Additional news can be found at www.troutrepublic.com or on Twitter at TroutRepublic