We all have pet peeves. We all get annoyed by things that really don’t matter much, whether it’s someone chewing with their mouth open, or someone whispering the Rosary in an Adoration chapel—which are two things that used to be pet peeves for Fr. Mike. But he learned a better way to deal with annoyances.
Why do we get so annoyed by such petty things? It’s because being annoyed is a choice.
Fr. Mike tells a quick story about prisoners of war in Vietnam. They were put in a really small cell where they were so close together they had to sleep touching each other. The prisoners came to an agreement that if they were annoyed by something another prisoner does, the one who is annoyed is the one at fault. This helped them rise about their situation.
There are four possible choices when you’re annoyed:
- I can choose to be annoyed. This is not recommended.
- I can actively choose to rise above the annoyance and grow in patience.
- I can do something about it and let it move me to positive action.
- Instead of saying that person annoys me, I can say that person sanctifies me.
Next time you get annoyed, try numbers two through four.
Meet Fr. Mike Schmitz
Fr. Mike Schmitz serves as Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Duluth and as chaplain for the Newman Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
He is a presenter in Ascension’s Chosen, Altaration, and The 99 programs, and has a channel on Ascension Presents. He is also the host of the Ascension podcasts The Bible in a Year and The Catechism in a Year.