A Good Time to Turn to God

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

A good time to turn to God

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.

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