That was the phrase I heard being spoken over the phone as I waited for my flight the Saturday after Thanksgiving. “I don’t need to take this”, I’ve used the phrase myself many times. It is usually my cue to exit stage left. Not that I was prying but I couldn’t help but hearing et least one side of the story. This story seems to be universal.
Yes, a family member had did him wrong sometime in the past. Yes, he attended the family get together with this on his mind. The offending parties offered no apologies. He began to make his case with other family members. Not receiving the required level of sympathy he made an early exit from the festivities with the all so familiar statement, “I don’t need to take this”. He was still searching for that ally against this injustice over the phone as I boarded the plane.
Years ago I was called into a management meeting to discuss my supposed misbehavior. It seemed to me that minds were already made up and I said those very words: “I don’t need to take this” and left the meeting. Thank God my boss chased me out to my car and demanded that I finish the meeting where I was eventually exonerated. “I don’t need to take this” would have not been a good explanation to my wife as to why I wasn’t going back to work.
During the heat of the holiday get togethers I am sure many people speak these words. I found myself thinking those very words as I was digesting some unpleasant words spoken about me. I am thankful that I have learned a few things in my older age. I quietly tried to work through the issues. We talked things over and we came to the conclusion that I didn’t have a problem with anyone. But a case had been made against me that had burrowed deep into the soul of someone else.
We prayed. We forgave. We cast out the spirit of bitterness and the difference in the atmosphere was as palatable as the turkey and fixings we were about to eat. It just as easily could have been me in that airport trying to patch things up. Better to pray than run.