Two priests were walking towards a small village and approached a stream with a woman standing at the water’s edge. The older priest asked the woman why she was just standing there. The woman replied, "Father, I am afraid to step into the water. I do not know how to swim". The priest said "Have faith my child," picked her up, carried her across the stream and set her down on the other side. She thanked him and went on her way.
The younger priest watched this as he crossed over, it was very apparent that he was furious. He waited for the young woman to walk away, and when she was out of sight, he blurted out; "Father, how you could you defile yourself by touching her before serving the Holy elements"? The older priest stopped walking, turned to the younger priest and said, "My dear brother, when I carried the young woman across the stream and placed her on the ground, we parted ways. Why do you still carry her in your heart and mind"?
I believe this little story can speak a very simple truth. How many people still carry stories, scenes, guilt, hurt, anger, and past matters in their minds and hearts that should be set down at the water’s edge? After 26 years of serving as a Chaplain, 99.99% of the people who I felt justified in being mad at (and I am sure I could find Biblical evidence if pressed), didn't lose one moments sleep over my righteous indignation. Nope, not one ulcer did they have. Not even a surprised look when most found out! Wow, what a shock, right?
For the three of you reading this, you’re probably rolling in laughter and thinking "what an idiot"! To that point, you would be right. To waste any energy, or spend any other emotional or spiritual time on being mad at someone, well, like one of my favorite books says, it's the equivalent of "casting pearls before the swine". You and I have much better things to do!