Reaction rate: the speed at which a chemical reaction proceeds
Before I changed my degree to English, I was a biology major in college. This meant I had to take a fair amount of chemistry courses. I hated chemistry. I didn’t understand it. Every time my husband would try to help me understand concepts, I would get upset and succumb to tears (or yelling). Nothing clicked. And labs, though sometimes fun when we got to mix chemicals, were worse because it was where I had to apply the knowledge from lecture—which I didn’t understand—to a chemical reaction I didn’t understand. Needless to say, I let my husband, who so graciously accepted being my lab partner, do the majority of the grunt work and I wrote the stuff down. None of which I understood, in case we haven’t covered that.
Really, that’s life. We know things are happening, we feel God working, but we don’t really understand how it’s all going to work out, so we get frustrated. The reaction rate isn’t always the rate we want, so we get frustrated. And, sometimes, we mix the wrong things, which causes a completely different reaction, so we get frustrated.
Honestly, I’m not sure if any of this is making sense. But my point is that it takes us time to react to things, and, often, when we react immediately, it’s not that thing that really caused the reaction.
I’ve had to work on my reaction rate. I’ve had to learn patience. I’ve had to practice thinking before reacting.
What’s more, we all react differently. No one person can control another’s reaction. And your reaction is only ever your responsibility, not someone else’s. You mixed the chemicals, so you have to determine how the process will proceed. So, how can you improve your reaction rate?
Take deep breaths.
Pray about it before you speak.
Let the other person know you want to have the conversation, but that you need to walk away for a minute. Then actually revisit it later. (Don’t use this as an excuse to not discuss.)
Do something that reminds you to pause. I bite my lip and play with my earlobe. (I know, weird. Whatever. But it makes sure I pause to listen.)
In your next encounter, consider your reaction. What will you do to improve your reaction rate?