Sour Grapes - Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Don’t Be Deceived

Your Future Can Be Told By The Words You Say

Have you heard the term “sour grapes”?

A person’s behavior, expression, or opinion can be termed “sour grapes” when the person is angry because they haven’t or aren’t getting what they want when they want it.

Matilda had often been referred to as sour grapes by her co-workers and especially by those under her in the accounting department.

The department heads in the company were going to a conference in New York City. They all met at the airport about three hours before their flight for an impromptu meeting called by the CEO.

“Is everyone here?” asked the CEO.

“Of course not,” someone yelled. “Sour grapes isn’t here.” You could hear hushed giggles in the background.

“I’m here,” she yelled breathlessly as she approached the group.

All chatter ceased as everyone’s eyes focused on her T-shirt.  She turned so everyone could see it. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

Graphic by Dena Warfield
Graphic by Dena Warfield

The CEO had paused his comments as Matilda found her seat. He looked down to read her shirt then looked up at her scowling face, shook his head, and continued about the schedule for the conference.

“Okay, I’ll see you all at the conference center. Matilda, please come up here for a minute.”

She walked up toward the podium where the CEO had been standing. Her face was still puckered into a scowl, “Yes, boss?”

Photo by Ono Kosuki from Pexel
Photo by Ono Kosuki from Pexel

He now leaned against the sliding glass door with his arms crossed staring at her shirt, “Why did you wear that shirt?”

“I don’t want anybody to mess with me. I’m tired. I haven’t had enough sleep. I don’t really want to be here, but I didn’t have a choice.”

“Do you like your job?” the CEO asked.

“Well, yeah, I guess. Why? Are you firing me?”

“No. Do you want to be fired?” he asked.

“Well, no.”

“We’ve been getting lots of complaints from the people in your department. I know you’re a number cruncher, but you have to be able to help and get along with your people or you’ll go back to just a number cruncher. Now go change that shirt before you get to the conference center. And that’s an order.”

She started to say something, stopped, turned, and walked to the elevator. You could hear her muttering to herself.

A Surprise at the Conference Center

When she walked into the conference center her face looked worse than it did when she first arrived. She was still muttering. 

Her sister, who worked at the conference center, walked up. “Matilda, how are you?” the sister asked.

Matilda whirled around with a look on her face that could kill. “Oh, hi. I didn’t know you were working here today.”

“What’s wrong? You look like you could spit nails you’re so angry.” 

“I didn’t want to be here. I work with numbers, not people. My boss made me take my tee shirt off.”

“Oh, you wore one of your famous tee-shirts to the conference? You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“No, I don’t want to be bothered.”

“Sis, I’m going to change the subject. You really need to go see Mom. She’s not doing well. They don’t know how long she has left. You haven’t been to see her in what 10 years?”

“Yeah, about that. No, I’m not going to see her. The last time I saw her I told her I wouldn’t be back. She kept harping about my tee shirts, trying to teach me some kind of lesson, I guess. I told her to leave me alone and I won’t be back and I haven’t. I’m not going to change it now.”

“I remember. Mom predicted your future, didn’t she? And how has that worked out? What exactly did she say?”

“She said if I kept wearing the tee shirts and repeating the sayings to myself that’s what would happen to me. I’d be a lonely old woman, never marrying.”

“It wasn’t just because of your tee shirts, but those thoughts became seeds that you rehearsed in your mind. You planted the seeds in words and behavior of don’t bother me, leave me alone. You became very stand-offish, angry.  How has that turned out for you so far?” Matilda’s sister asked.

“I don’t want to talk about it. Mom’s just a crazy old lady. I don’t want to see her.”

“Okay,” the sister said as she walked away leaving Matilda muttering to herself.

Thoughts Become Word Seeds We Plant

Your thoughts are a seed that feeds a self-perpetuating cycle. What you think directly influences what you say, how you feel, and how you behave. 

So if you have angry thoughts, such as, “Don’t Bother Me.” You are telling others to leave you alone and they will. 

This becomes a cycle of angry thoughts and words and eventually behavior. You think thoughts like “I don’t hate you, I’m just not necessarily excited about your existence.” Like Matilda, you rehearse those words over and over in your head. You say them out loud to yourself and others, which dictates your behavior. 

Articles Regarding our Thoughts, Words, and Behavior

A Forbes article entitled, This Is How Your Thoughts Become Your Reality, states 

“Your thoughts are a catalyst for self-perpetuating cycles. What you think directly influences how you feel and how you behave. So if you think you’re a failure, you’ll feel like a failure. Then, you’ll act like a failure, which reinforces your belief that you must be a failure.”

Lifehack states:

  • Watch your thoughts; they become words.
  • Watch your words; they become actions.
  • Watch your actions; they become habits.
  • Watch your habits; they become character.
  • Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

Bible Reference

The Bible is very clear about the seeds that we sow. There are a lot of references in the Bible about our Thoughts, Words, and Behavior as seeds.

Galatians 6:7-8 “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”


Matilda’s Harvest

As Matilda was getting ready to go to the airport to return home, she got a call from an unknown number. When she answered it was the nursing home where her mother had been a resident. They told her that her mother had passed away during the night. Before she died, she had a nurse record some last words for Matilda, which were played in the message.

“Tilly, I have always loved you. I have missed you so much. You have so much potential, but you are wasting the talent God gave you. Please stop planting angry seeds.”

She wiped the tears from her eyes as she opened a letter the CEO had handed her as she left the conference center. “Matilda, as of today you no longer have a job with the company. We need someone who is a people person as well as a number cruncher. I am sorry this couldn’t work out for you.” 

 Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Matilda left the hotel and got a taxi to the cemetery where her father was buried. She wandered through the tombstones until she found the right site. She knelt down on one knee,  hung her head, “I guess they were right. This is my harvest. Why did I have to be so hard-headed? Why couldn’t I have listened to mom? Now, she’s gone. Everything’s gone, ” she said as the tears flowed.

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