Meditation on Psalm 37

Seeing Red, Paper Cutout, Phillip Schwartz


Refrain from anger, leave rage alone; do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.


This verse popped out today because of all the energy I’ve wasted on anger and rage throughout my life. I lived for almost twenty years in Boston, the premier city of road rage. While I lived there using my middle finger to communicate my displeasure with other drivers became reflexive. I drove with another finger on the horn ready, to honk at the slightest provocation. After I moved to the Hudson Valley, it took one very embarrassing incident for me to realize that I had a problem. I flipped off a driver who had honked at me, only to realize that the honk was meant as a greeting and that it came from a woman who sat a few pews away from me every Sunday morning. I hoped that she hadn’t seen my middle fingered wave, but I knew that I needed to apologize. That was the beginning of my great and ongoing, effort to unlearn what twenty years of Boston driving had taught me.

Phillip Schwartz