I know the nicest guy who becomes someone completely unlike himself when he gets angry! He has admitted to being surprised by how easily his inclination towards goodness can vanish when his emotions become aroused! He is not alone in this tendency. I remember on the day I left the monastery, May 11, 2001, driving a 12-hour trip south that day how astonished I was by the anger that so many drivers manifested on the road! I couldn’t remember such an abundance of angry indulgence! I know a very sincere church person quite serious about living a spiritual life who became someone else on the way to church one morning! They got behind a slow local driver who absolutely refused to move along and our church person lost control laying on the horn, yelling in the car and hailing the slow-poke with two one-bird salutes!
I know all of this because the offended slow driver stopped me in Walmart one day and poured out his indignation that someone on the way to church could have treated him in such a way! To say that I was horrified and shamed is an understatement even though I know from the offending party there was a degree of deliberate provocation on the part of the slow driver! It seems that when our emotions become inflamed then the Good Us seems to go away only to return when our emotional fury has been spent! Unfortunately that fury leaves wreckage behind for the one creating it as well as for those upon whom it is inflicted!
How often do we excuse our descent into wickedness by saying, “They just made me SO mad!” or “They drive me CRAZY!” or “It was just the LAST STRAW!” ?? It is entirely possible to live two separate lives… the Holy one and the Demonic one! After the 500th explosion though isn’t it time to get that demon under control?