I hate my temper.

I remember getting really mad inside by about Junior High. Something about hormones and pre-pubescent angst. I broke things then. Punched them. Vandalized them. I got drunk just once in high school, and I hurt a few of my best friends. Not pretty.

Where does this come from? It’s weird, because I’m not the kind of person to hold a grudge (I’m not saying I never do, just usually not). I don’t usually stew on things, at least not for long. I’ve been described as patient and gentle more times than I can count. It’s true, I really am gentle, most of the time. But when anger rises, it doesn’t waft like lazy smoke, it explodes from me, frantically dominating a few volcanic moments, then dissipates as the pressure is relieved. Or something like that.

But I hate it.

Like ten minutes ago: I was just playing a video game, for crying out loud. A bunch of dancing pixels! It wasn’t going well (I was getting my butt handed to me on a silver platter with a side of lead, actually). But up leaps the anger, the rage, the soulish roar. How can I describe it?

A dark flush of irrational, electric tension. Yeah, that’s it. There abouts.

There’s usually no one on the receiving end, thank God, but the fact that it’s lurking there, waiting to scream, is so frustrating. There are the clinical questions I ask myself:

– What am I afraid of? (Anger is usually a mask for fear, deep down).
– What goal is being blocked? Why is that so important to me?
– Is this demonic? I don’t think so (prayed through all that many times) but sometimes I wonder.

And I pray. I listen to God. I invite him into my mess, ask him to change me, and I wait. This cannot change without something very real and costly and precious dying in me, I can tell. So change me, God. Kill this. Break this. Rip it out. I’ll help.

Did I mention I hate it?