Thursday, December 12, 2013

In All Things...Pray

photo courtesy of Jay Mastro
The other day I had a minor medical procedure done at the hospital. I'm fine. At least, I am now! However, the first big snowstorm of the season decided to occur on the same day. It was in full swing when we left the house. A thirty minute drive turned into close to a 2-and-a-half hour one.

I cannot stand to be late, not even 5 minutes. I was told I needed to be at the hospital by 9:30 am for an 11:30 appointment, so we left the house at 8:40 to give ourselves a few extra minutes. We knew we were in trouble when we encountered stopped traffic within a quarter of a mile from home. We figured the main road, a straight shot to the hospital would be fine. We figured wrong. It was stop and go for a few miles until it became simply stop. After awhile, we realized that the only time we moved were when cars up ahead turned around.

We shut the car off. Brian read the newspaper and took a nap. There was the option of turning around, but we assumed that all the side roads, and the alternative route I had in mind would be much worse. Again, I assumed wrong.

I called the hospital to let them know of our demise and got a voice mail. Of course. However, a very kind nurse called me back and told me not to stress, to just get there safely. All I could think of was, "They're going to send me home and I will have to reschedule and do this all over again!"

When it became evident at sometime after 10:00 that we weren't going anywhere for a long time, I started to feel my blood pressure rise. I'd been relatively calm up to this point. But I was becoming frustrated at my helplessness. And watching Brian nap peacefully, as if he could just sit there all day didn't help. I suggested we do something else.  Brian's response was, "What do you want to do? Do you want to turn around and go home?" Oops, Honey, wrong thing to say. I'm embarrassed to admit that I completely lost control to the point of filthy language, which I won't repeat on this holy blog. It wasn't directed at him....just a basic female, hormonal stress vent.

After my temper tantrum, we decided to turn around and try the alternate route.  Turned out that these roads were actually more clear than the main road we had just left. And there was not a car in sight. Smooth sailing all the way there. I got there at 11:00 and went right in. No one faulted me, of course for being late. Everyone, everywhere was late that day.

So...now comes the lesson part, right? Believe it or not, as I was sitting in the car in that traffic, I actually asked God what the lesson was. He was silent. I have been thinking and praying...what is it? Remain calm? Expect the unexpected? Don't schedule anything important in the winter? Always leave yourself more time than necessary? Don't beat yourself up over being late? Don't swear when you lose control of your emotions? Don't lose control of your emotions? I pictured God listening to all of this and just shrugging, and saying, "Okay, those are all good, but none are quite it....did you ever stop to pray?"
Perhaps horseback would have been a better alternative

So simple. And no, we never did. We didn't pray before we set out...for safety in the storm. We didn't pray about what course of action or inaction to take in the stopped traffic. We didn't stop to thank Him for the clear alternative route. And we never prayed before I went into the operating room. It occurred to me as Brian kissed me before I was whisked away. Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus (1Thess 5:16-18). I failed to do all three. I did not rejoice, pray or thank.

So, thank you God for keeping us safe in the storm, for the clear alternate route, and for getting me through the procedure uneventfully. I rejoice in Your goodness!

Well, one lesson learned too late. Or so it seems. It's never too late to learn our lesson. It's a good thing God is gracious, slow to anger and quick to forgive. He desires for us to learn that lesson, regardless of how long it takes, so that we can grow in Grace. Oh to be more like Him!


Blessings Along the Path,
Mary

Song of the Day
Prayer of Thanks

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