Today I wanted a break from the monotony that I have been dealing with for the past 6 months or so. I finished what I was doing, hopped in my jalopy and began to drive. I enjoy driving, because for the most part, my car is my sanctuary. I can lock myself away, turn on the radio and escape from the world while I get a chance to think. When things are stressful, as they have been lately, this time is all the more important.
I say, “for the most part”, because my car decided it wanted to act like pretty much everything else around me. Taking cues from the rest of my circumstances, my sound system decided it didn’t want to work any more. I couldn’t even respond (although, in my mind, all I could think of was, “figures”). I continued my drive, adjusting to the silence, trying to not think about how long I would have to deal with an inability to listen to my music, make phone calls, or, equally important, get a reprieve from the pressures of life.
I thought about how this was just one more thing that has ground to a halt in my life. I want to get mad… I really do… but I’m thinking I probably need to have a different mindset.
Sometime ago, I was on a mini pilgrimage to San Francisco and points beyond. It was a beautiful day… a top down kind of day, and for the most part the drive was relatively easy… easy, until I hit traffic driving through San Francisco. So many times traffic was completely stopped. Frustrating… so frustrating because I had plans of where I wanted to go and what I wanted to experience, but I was just sitting there… not moving… stuck.
Now, perspective is a strange and wonderful thing. Thinking back on the mini pilgrimage, I don’t remember how long I was stuck. In fact, I can’t even say that being stuck took away from my overall experience. That day was a great day, and I have no regrets over taking the mini pilgrimage.
Lately I have been reading a lot about peoples’ journeys in scripture. It is easy to look at what is written on the page and wonder why they didn’t “get it”. Even those that walked with Jesus… you would think that they would ace it when it came to the day to day faith walk, but not so… they doubted, they questioned, they continually got it wrong. I guess that gives me some hope when I am feeling like my journey of faith has ground to zero, and I am stuck going nowhere. But I have found the benefit of perspective in reading their stories:
- They got stuck, but didn’t stay there
- They messed up, but still succeeded
- They doubted, but still followed
- They got hurt, even hurt others, but were healed and reconciled.
The wonderful thing about stories is that they don’t end just because a sentence or chapter ends. There is always more to it than just the specific experience. Looking back on my experience at zero mph, while I hated going nowhere, I did enjoy the fact that I was able to put the top down (in February, too). It wasn’t all bad. In the same way, I can look back over the last 6 months and, while I have been stuck, I have had the opportunity to dig into my relationship with God even more, to understand Him, understand myself, and to be willing to let the stuck places lead me to hard questions I have to ask about myself. It also has me thinking about longer term solutions – not just “getting unstuck”, but how to set myself up for success. I am examining my time, and what I am doing with it, and how I can plan for the next phase(s) of my life. I am thinking that as I look back on this time, I won’t remember so much how long I was at zero, but what I did get from the time itself.
One of the confusing scriptures I have read is from David:
I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. Psalm 37:25
This is the same David who had to beg for bread from Ahimelech the priest. David, however as he looked back on his life, didn’t see this as begging. He saw an opportunity for God to provide. In the time of need, he saw that God would take care of him…
So, rather than think about what I do not have, I am choosing to look at what I can get from this. What benefits there are to being stuck. Even how I can benefit from the silence (might make it easier to get wisdom from above… who knows). I still don’t like being stuck, but believing it is not the final chapter, I have hope for what the Author plans on doing with this part of my life.
I always go back to this, not only because it is cute, but because it is a great lesson in perspective 🙂 :