My day off didn’t go as planned. One of the kids overslept and needed a ride to school. Another child needed a lift to a neighboring town for some errands. Trying to save time, I decided to do my regular grocery shopping in a different store. That never works for me – I can’t find anything. Plus, I needed a very unusual light bulb which was proving hard to find.
Then I needed to get to downtown Basel in order to find a specific repair shop. At one point, I got in the wrong turning lane which meant another ten minutes getting back to the same spot. Next, I parked in the wrong parking garage. After walking to the repair shop, I discovered it had moved to another location. I finally found it and waited close to an hour to get what I needed. When I got back to the parking garage, I couldn’t remember which floor I left the car on. (At one point, I wondered if I was in the wrong garage!)
I was now late for an appointment back at the church. I don’t usually make appointments on my day off, but I had made an exception. I missed the exit I needed – another ten minute detour. Once I got to the office, I got a message that the appointment would be delayed for thirty minutes. Finally, I had a moment to stop and just catch my breath.
We all have days like that. Truthfully, I had so many things on my mind that it seemed to paralyze me. My ‘to do’ list was lengthy and my project list was even longer. Although it was my day off, the coming week promised to be incredibly full. I was preoccupied with thoughts about my family, practical chores to be done and matters at the church. It was all crashing in.
On days like that, I can’t stop everything. But I try to hit the pause button for a few moments. For me, this includes stopping everything I am doing, closing my eyes and taking a deep breath. Then I pray for peace and guidance. By pausing for just a few moments, I allow myself to rest and invite God back into my day. Sometimes that’s enough to keep going.
The Apostle Paul, talking about stress far greater than a bad day, writes: “So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, The Message)
That’s the kind of perspective I need on those days that don’t go so well.