I've caught myself doing it a few times lately. A couple of weeks ago were on a roadtrip on the way back from France. It had just taken us three hours just to get through the Paris traffic and we were tired and hungry. I desperately wanted pizza and found a place open that wasn't too far off the highway using googlemaps. Yay we practically jumped out of the car... it was a bit like a food truck, unexpected by still fine, smelled really good! As we looked over the menu card one of the guys making pizza turned to me and said that it was an hour and a half wait for a pizza because they had so many phone orders to complete. I felt dumbstruck, on a journey home you want something quick and easy, not a long wait to add extra hours to your trip. It was a strange feeling, I said 'O really, we just come off the highway especially and we're on a long trip.' The guy just shrugged his shoulders and turned his back to me and continued making pizzas. I stood there feeling angry, stumped, cut off and I just couldn't think of an alternative at that moment, I really wanted pizza, I couldn't have it and there was nothing I could do about it. It took me a little while before I could really shift into problem solving mode.
The second roadblock was a literal one. I had my bike and what they call in the Netherlands a fietskar (really a little trailer that you can transport two children in) and we came across a block on the footpath, they were working on a bridge and had created a detour, but not one that was suitable for a wide trailer on a bike carrying three children. "What! You're kidding me! No-way! How in the world am I supposed to use that teeny weeny track with this bike, cart and three boys?!' I stood there again, like a statue, frozen in roadblock mode and it took me again a while before I could shift into problem solving mode. After I had it all sorted, had the children walk single file across the track, bring my bike and then afterwards my cart and we had made it through the detour - yes a little behind time - but we were on our way again, I reflected on what happens to me when I meet with something unexpected.
It's like I don't want to believe the reality. My plans need to be altered, but what I really want is an exception to be made for me, just let me through, just make a pizza for us in between the others - no one will know! I recognise the self-centredness and I know that is part of our human nature that rears its head constantly, that is certainly something to pray about and ask for grace around. The crippling effect of my reaction to roadblocks is that I stand there and look at them too long, rather than working on a solution. This is not just in trips but also in business and relationships. One of the things that I realised I was saying that shifted my gears... even though it sounds really negative, I use the expression "How in the world am I going to do that?" It's always the "How in the world..." question that finally shifts me... it is like I ask the question and then my brain finally starts looking for the answers. If I stand there and say 'I can't' or 'Why me?' nothing happens, I stay there looking at the problem not the solution.
I really looking forward to today, it was the first day of school and I had plans to work in my office all day, to really get some plans in place for the next 90 days for my business. Then I hit another roadblock, one of my sons was sick and I had to take him to the doctors and then care for him at home. This time it was easier, the family comes first, don't worry about business until he is ok, and funnily enough even with all the distractions, I had a very productive day. This is how I want to respond to all the roadblocks in my life, but I don't.
Do you stress out when you are running late? I know that I really love to be on time and punctual for appointments and my heart beats faster when I get held up. We rush rush rush to get to that family gathering on time and stress out when the kids move slower than we want, when we can't find the right shoes, you know all the hold ups that happen with kids, but when it is all said and done and we are finally at the party, or school or whatever our appointment is, has a few minutes really mattered? In the whole scheme of things, what is more damaging, being late sometimes or the stress we accumulate when we don't respond with grace and calm when things don't go our way? Something I am still learning is that as a child of God, things are always happening for me, not against me and I need to realise that though I cannot always see it from my perspective, I can still trust that it's true.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5
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