Karenia brevis blooms persist on the Florida Gulf Coast and here in Sarasota County the levels range from low to high concentrations. I’m not going to spend much more time on the science of Red Tide but the brevetoxins have a negative impact.  For me, my eyes get red and itchy. It is quite irritating and my eyes feel extra heavy. This got me thinking about irritants and being irritated. (On some level this is probably a continuation of yesterday’s writing on foolishness because last night while comfortable situated in my thinking chair, I realize foolish people irritate me.) Understanding the pathology of irritability or the cause of chronic irritability (there are plenty of scholarly papers available to read on this subject) is not my intention rather I just want to raise the notion of “normal” irritation.  The everyday irritations like not being able to get on the internet when you want or need to, a not so smart TV remote, unnecessary comments, rapid Covid testing, driving issues and unmet expectations. (The more I think about what irritates me the longer my list becomes.) I’m sure it won’t take you long to create a long list of what irritates you including some people. There is probably some truth to saying what irritates you is able to control you.   The longer I remain irritated the longer I am unable to experience goodness.  In Rebecca’s Soinit book on the history of walking, “Wanderlust” she writes of an Inuit custom of walking in one direction for as long as you are aggrieved. When the emotion finally evaporates, drop a stick on the ground and head back, creating a physical manifestation “bearing witness to the strength or length of the rage.” It seems to me when I become irritated walking it off may actually work.

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:7
“Now as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you – so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.”

Reflection Questions:
What irritates you?
What do you do when you’re irritated?
How are you modeling grace?

Prayer: Holy God, help me choose to respond in a more healthy way to the irritations and intrusions I experience. Let me model grace and excel in caring for others. Amen