So, this is later than I anticipated this week, not in small part because I lost 2 hours of good work time sitting by the side of the road with a flat tire. I lost good work time, but found good spiritual time. Here were my top ten spiritual thoughts as I sat and waited.
10. Well, I didn’t get a sunburn in the Caribbean – here’s a second chance to bask in the sunshine until I fry…
9. O.K. – sunburn aside, it’s a beautiful day in Savannah, almost 80 degrees and not raining. I’ve been waiting for this weather for months. But if I hadn’t been forced to get out of my car, I would have spent the whole day inside and missed it.
8. There are already grasshoppers buzzing in the Savannah grasses in March. Who knew?
7. A sand gnat bite or two is a good reminder to pray without ceasing – whenever I itch, I pray!
6. When I’m speeding down the highway, I miss the tiny white flowers blooming on the sides of the road.
5. The AAA man who couldn’t change my tire because I bought the snazzy red car without a spare waited with me until the other man who could fix the tire arrived. (Maurice, you’re a special kind of man!)
4. Friends who drove past texted to make sure I was all right.
3. Other friends made sure my son, who I couldn’t pick up from school, was fine and well-cared for. I already knew they loved him like he was their own; now I can see their love in action.
2. There is never a good time for an emergency – but they happen anyway. I spent a great deal of time trying – and mostly succeeding – to be happy that it was not far worse.
1. Two hours is a long time to examine how I handle stress. It’s also a lot of time to adjust my attitude when I realize I’m not handling it well. I had a chance to see spiritual connection in action in a high-stress but not particularly dangerous situation. Hopefully what I learned on the side of Truman Parkway will spill over into other areas of my life.
[By the way, there were plenty of not-so-spiritually-uplifting thoughts I had too. I decided not to share those!]
When was the last time you were forced by an emergency or just a situation you couldn’t control to just wait? How did you handle it? Looking back, is there a way you could have turned it into a chance for spiritual practice? What lessons might you have learned?
Openings: Let the Spirit In can help you turn life’s ups and downs into a chance to connect with your spiritual side. For more information on spiritual direction, retreats and workshops, check out our website.