My husband was supposed to arrive at 3:13pm that day after a 12-day trip. It was a Friday afternoon and storms began rolling in, delaying his flight little more than an hour. I gathered my things and began to make my way through the torrential downpour and rush-hour traffic, exhilarated to see my hubby after days of waiting.
Waiting in the terminal for him to land, he texted me. They’d been circling above my head, and the storm, for an hour. The storms were too thick, too dangerous – the only option was to reroute to Austin, a 40-minute flight away. Not knowing when I would need to come back, I headed home – back into the fray of traffic and thick, sideways rain.
Steve’s flight landed in Austin, along with many other diverted planes. He and his fellow passengers sat on the tarmac for three hours. At home, the kids were disappointed I hadn’t brought their Daddy with me. Steve and I sent messages back and forth, trying to prepare a back-up plan. Do I drive to Austin to pick him up? Do I book him a hotel before rooms run out? Do I book a rental car for him to make his way home?
All plans ceased when he replied, “They’re arranging for buses. We’ll be at the airport around 2am.”
A very long day for him. A few, brief hours to nap for me.
It seemed providential that my father-in-law was in town, staying at our house that night. I could leave in the middle of the night to pick up Steve without dragging sleeping children to the van.
On Steve’s end, after five hours in the air, three hours on the tarmac, at the end of a working day, he and the other passengers unloaded and dispersed onto four coach buses, headed for the metroplex, another three hours away. When the driver became sleepy and swerving just 45 minutes out of DFW, Steve took the initiative to sit with him and talk through the rest of the trip. Steve wondered if he’d been placed there for such a time as this.
Driving in the wee hours, storms and traffic long gone, my heart leapt to see the buses pull in at the terminal, to catch my husband’s awaited embrace. It was 4am by the time we finally slept in our own bed. But the digression of events that day had me wonder.
What do we do when plans change? When things are completely out of our control? When the other passengers on this ride with us get upset, angry, impatient? How do we lay not only our circumstances but our attitudes before the throne of God in the face of disappointment?
Steve didn’t arrive at 3:13pm as planned.
But he did come home.
God flooded us with patience and peace.
God paved the way in having my father-in-law available to be there for the kids.
Steve played a role in assuring the bus arrived safely.
Are we too caught up in the inconveniences of life to see the opportunities? Too overwhelmed with wondering how it will pan out to see how God has paved the way?
What is God doing in the midst of your reroute today?
Perhaps you can relate to this: waking up to the sound of monkey noises coming from the child who is both climbing on you and attempting to pull you out of bed simultaneously. The house is a wreck from the day before spent NOT doing any chores, the kitchen has no clean dishes, the children are claiming near-starvation, you need at least ten hours sleep more which apparently isn’t going to happen, and those monkey noises just will not stop! Maybe toss in a headache and a full to-do list and you can see how this sets the stage for a not-so-great morning with a less than stellar attitude.
In our home, when the kids get to arguing or make a poor choice, we give them an opportunity for a “re-do”…to do-over the action that they just did incorrectly and have the chance to make a better choice next time. Taking this time to stop and restart is like a reboot to the day, turning a frazzled, frustrating moment into a hopeful one where wisdom has been gained and hopefully a lesson has been learned.
There are those days (like the one I mentioned above) where things just get off on the wrong foot. For whatever variant reasons, I just don’t have the best attitude and tend to be short and snappy in my dialogue with my husband and children. My flesh wants to just push through and figure it out on my own, to conquer my own bad attitude, from my own strength.
Anyone care to guess how THAT goes??
Yep, not so much in the success department on that one! So, I’ve found that, just like my kiddos, sometimes I need a do-over as well, a chance to reboot my attitude and start the day with a fresh perspective. Great…sounds nice…but HOW?
For me, my best re-do’s come when I pull out my guitar and have some time spent in active worship. It requires me to stop in my tracks and intentionally do something else. It’s pretty difficult to snap at my kids with a nasty attitude while I sing praises to God. (It IS possible…but difficult…and most certainly convicting if it does happen!)
In a matter of minutes, my focus shifts from my frustrations to God. There is no better attitude adjustment than that!
And, yes, there have been times where I have worshipped with a toddler-tantrum in progress, with kids begging me to stop and get them a snack, with my phone ringing and my to-do list tempting me to go on the attack. But, the way I see it, I’m a more compassionate mom and more capable woman if I take ten minutes to worship my God than if I don’t and try to tough it out.
Our kids have learned over time that when I say it’s “music-time in the Cohen house”, I mean it and no amount of whining or distractions will deter me. There’s no telling how many days have been saved so far! How many terrible words have I avoided speaking? How much negativity has been kept from spewing everywhere?
Maybe you don’t play guitar, but I’m pretty sure you can turn on some music and sing like a fool for Jesus in the living room. It’s absolutely okay, and often necessary to say to God, “I need a do-over today!”