Synonyms: spiky, spiked, thorny, barbed, spiny
What a week…I look at my poor hands, a bit swollen, scratched up, stiff and very sore. I started in on a project working an hour or so in the coolness each morning this week before going to work pulling the unwanted weeds, dead plants and laying new mulch. I am getting ready for fall which hopefully will arrive soon living in Texas we are always ready for a break from the heat. I can’t wait to bring out my pumpkins, plant some mums and fall pansies. As I worked through each section of the yard and flower beds, I realized our yard has a type of very PRICKLY vine that intertwines in between the bushes with these long roots that caused the irritation in my hands. Even though I wore gloves, those PRICKLY little thorns seemed to have crept through anyway. Lord, may I ask you…what good are they or what purpose do they really serve?
Even though my fingers are a bit stiff as I am clicking away on the keyboard I am hoping the venom from the nasty little PRICKLY weed will subside soon. Oh well no pain no gain it was worth it…I love yard work it is therapy to my soul. Nothing more refreshing than digging into the fresh moist soil and I absolutely love when I run across a den of earth worms and watching them squirm back down into the rich coolness of the soil. As I thought about the word PRICKLY the first thing that came to my mind was a PRICKLY pear cactus. I grew up on the plains in Southeast Colorado and the pastures were full of this ornate vegetation along with the sagebrush and soap weeds. As with many people, I did not realize the many uses a PRICKLY Pear cactus has to offer. It is known as a fruit-bearing plant that produces in the fall a luscious purple, red, or yellow fruit that is made into jelly, jams, pies, breads, wine and many other scrumptious items. Its juice is rich in vitamin C. For some it is called the Indian fig. Amazing how something so PRICKLY can offer such an incredible variety for your tasty pallet and have a beneficial effect on your health. I encourage you to check it out the next time you are at your specialty grocery store.
Hmmm, as I am sipping on my scrumptious cup of white pear tea, I remembered a book I recently read it is written by Debbie Macomber entitled, “God’s Guest List” and there was one whole chapter devoted to PRICKLY people. I have to laugh, this is a very good way to define people’s personalities and their reactions to certain situations, especially those folks who have a tendency to grate on your nerves. Just yesterday I had a voicemail from a client who is very direct. I appreciate this about her but I would say most of the time she seems irritated and not very patient at all with most circumstances. You naturally have your guard up with each conversation you have, I would have to classify her as a PRICKLY person. You know those types of people where you are walking on egg shells and waiting for the bomb to drop? As I was listening to her message rather than being on guard, I just burst into laughter of which I could do because I was by myself. She was soooo upset over a situation and was directing her complaint to me like it was my fault. I am definitely just a third party available to assist and help get the answers or resolve certain issues. I picked up the phone and returned her call she starts in chewing on me and then in the same breathe she stated she was with a client and didn’t have time to talk to me. Yet she barked out the same message she had left, in this particular case she was upset she had not received a paper bill in the mail, she informed me she does not do “ONLINE” anything yet in the same breathe she proceeds to tell me that when she pays her bills “ONLINE” it takes an extra week before payment goes out and because she didn’t receive it on time this was going to cause her to be late. Number one I do not produce the bill the carrier does, number two I do not mail the bill the carrier does, nor am I the U.S. Post office who delivers it nor am I in her office to retrieve the mail and personally hand it to her. I assured her the bill was produced like every other month; it is generated around the 15th of the month and mailed out just like it has been for the last five years she has been with this particular carrier. I did retrieve a copy of the bill and emailed to her assistant of which she still was not happy. It was simple not good enough she wanted to know why she did not receive hers in the mail with a coupon she did not want an online copy. I had no answer and I explained she had 30 days to pay the bill with a 30 day grace period and her only option was to pay based on the copy I supplied. I stated once she was finished with her client she could call me back even if it was after 5:00 to discuss further. I never heard back from her. LOL!
I have another dear friend who seems to have the same demeanor, I wonder if these two ladies are related. She is never happy or satisfied with the responses you provide. When you give a reasonable explanation or solution to the issue she seems to always have an excuse why it won’t work or offer other ideas that are absurd to me. PRICKLY People are everywhere, there are some weeks they just flow out of the wood work and I again I ask God what purpose are they serving and why are they causing me so much anxiety? I don’t know how to change them but I do know how to change my attitude towards them. I must control how they affect me and defuse the tension to not allow these PRICKLY folks to make me cranky too. Cranky people often offer us the gift of a fresh opportunity to develop patience. Fortunately the word helps to give me wise counsel and I can take my action plan from the love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled, where there is knowledge it will pass away.”
When you think about it this has a magic formula. I encourage you to reread and apply it to any PRICKLY situation and your heart can be immediately calmed. Improvements begin almost immediately. Think about what the world would be like if we all used this as a guideline in our everyday life. Never rude, always kind, patient…it would be like heaven on earth. Our secret weapon is love…even towards those who seem to be unlovable.
I am hoping we don’t become the PRICKLY people on someone else’s list. There is no doubt we will have times we are out of sorts or a bit cranky, that is our human nature. But this is not the same thing as being a chronically difficult person. If you are in danger of sinking into a permanent porcupine-like state or are already there I suggest as you are “Takin Time Out” this week you figure out what is bothering you and work to resolve it. Sometime you may need professional help to guide you through this and there is nothing wrong with that, life happens…circumstances can cause damage that can cause the irritation but the whole key is to find the root cause of it and fix it. Are you getting enough rest and deep sleep? Do you eat right and regularly? Do you drink enough water? Have you had a physical lately? Reduce your stress and not feel like you always have to be ON…especially in today’s world with all the wonderful devices of reaching out and touching someone. Sometimes we need to shut all this off, tune it out and be still. I encourage you to go outside, find a quiet spot in nature and sit, be careful there are no PRICKLY bushes near by…Breathe in deeply, close your eyes and let your ears take over…what unique sounds do you hear? Calm your mind, calm your heart and recite the Love Chapter, I promise it will truly make a difference. Until next time don’t let a person’s PRICKLY exterior cause you to become PRICKLY too…