A bloke in a high viz jacket was checking the contents of car boots, “What have you got in the car, sir?”, he said. I felt the anxiety level increase. “Could you open the boot please”. The drivers behind me looked at me suspiciously. Perhaps because my car had blackened out rear windows, he was thinking that I might be carrying drugs or something. He made a thorough examination of the contents and then allowed me to enter the local tip.
I turned up at the local tip again recently and was greeted by a bloke on the gate who said “Sorry pal, the refuse tip is shut for twenty minutes because everything’s being compacted”. Compacted? I can tell you a thing or two about being compacted mate. Life has a way of squeezing the life out of you sometimes!… is the thought that raced through my mind, but thankfully not from my mouth. As I made the twenty minute journey to another tip, I moaned about box ticking jobsworths and the inconvenience of it all. In hindsight, it would have made more sense to wait patiently but I was nearing that tipping point when frustration turns to exasperation and you blurt out something you later regret. In the grand scheme of things it was a minor inconvenience. But it made me think about how some people have to put up with a lot of inconvenience in their world and sooner or later reach a tipping point.
James, a leader in the early church says this in his letter in the New Testament: “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry”. (James 1 v 19)
So what’s your tipping point? What makes you feel compacted and squashed sometimes? What makes you angry or what gives rise to you having a bit of a moan?