Setting down the rocks

On Monday, I wrote about the next step in picking up a fist-sized rock:

This week, when you pick up your rock, think of someone who annoys you. Not an enemy, not really, but a person who gets on your nerves. Then, when you put the rock down, on your desk, in your car’s console, say “I’m not going to throw this at you.”

And this week, I’ll write about doing hard things.

The other day, I got an email from my friend Jim.

Dear Jon,

Doing hard things!? How does choosing not to be annoyed sound for a hard thing?

With my first non-throwing rock came a conundrum: who should I choose? I picked the rock up yesterday evening but still had not assigned it. And I had been sick. Which didn’t help me think.

Still sick and uncomfortable, when the phone rang at 7:15 this morning, I had my answer, although I didn’t then know it:

“Uhhhhhhhhhhh, hello, jib sbeeking…”

“Did I wake you up?”

“Uhhhhhhhhhhh, yeah im sick…”

“Where’s Karen!”

“Uhhhhhhhhhhh, she’s out…”

“When will she be back?”

“Uhhhhhhhhhhh, nod sure – I’ll dell er you called…”

Once fully-conscious, I decided to lay that rock down in compassion and choose not to be irritated with my early-morning caller. The funny thing is that in laying down that one rock, I have become aware of two more rocks that I need to find and put to rest.

In choosing to not be irritated by one person, it makes the grudgy irritations that I routinely carry – well, too uncomfortable.

Not throwing the first stone is a hard thing.


I’m with Jim.