When the train is delayed, the kids are acting out, the printer runs out of ink—all are wonderful chances to talk to God.
Posted in , Dec 11, 2018
By 8:00 a.m. I was already thinking, “This is a bad day!”
At 8:01 I corrected myself, saying, “No. Something didn’t go well. That means nothing about the rest of the day except that you need to re-set your attitude and emotions.” I took a few slow, deep breaths and thought of something for which to give thanks, and felt a bit better.
Then at 8:04 the subway conductor announced that there were delays due to a signal problem, and my stress level started to rise again. I pulled out my phone to use my morning prayer app. The opening sentence included “May we reflect your glory this day.” I frowned—it sure didn’t seem likely I was heading toward reflecting God’s glory, given the bumpy start I’d had already—but I prayed the phrase anyway. Then I prayed it for the people around me, prayed it for each of my kids, prayed it for each of the people I knew who were struggling. That helped re-set my spirit.
Finally, around 8:15, the train began to move. By then a kid nearby was playing a game on his mom’s phone at high volume, someone holding on to an overhead bar was coughing down on me, and I was getting dire text messages from one of my teens. I read Psalm 42, “Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul, and why are you so disquieted within me? O put your trust in God, for I will yet give him thanks, who is the help of my countenance and my God” (Psalm 42:6-7). That reminded me again to think of things for which I was thankful, and I spent the rest of my commute giving thanks.
The rest of the day was just as up-and-down. My email didn’t work, I found out one of my kids lied to me, the printer ran out of ink when I had to get something out the door—it was one aggravation after another. Even though none of it was life-shattering it all felt huge. Life seemed far more difficult than it had to be.
But maybe it did have to be that way. As I left work I realized that several good things did happen:
—I’d chosen to give thanks—many times—instead of grousing.
—I’d asked the Lord to help me reflect His glory.
—I’d opted to rebound each and every time I became frustrated, turning to God many times more often than I would have if everything had gone smoothly.
That made me smile. And it kind of took the edge off the train delay on the way home.