Things always seem to go wrong at the most inconvenient times, don’t they? You get pulled over for speeding when you’re late dropping your child off to school. You hit all the red lights and then come to locked doors at the post office when you need to get something postmarked. Or even with “Find My iPhone,” you can’t find it anywhere. Maybe it’s with the keys that have been missing for days or your favorite shirt you never did find. Sometimes it seems like things pile up on us all at once. We hit red lights all the time, walk up to closed stores, or misplace things frequently. I’m sure most of the time we all can handle it well. We shrug it off and keep going. But when we’re overwhelmed or navigating more than we can bear, those simple things can feel like a lot.
Living in Dallas, TX, I dealt with traffic a lot. You could leave with plenty of time, but most often, there would be a stalled vehicle or a fender bender on the interstate and freeways, and we’d be backed up for miles. While I was going to be on time, I’d see my GPS shift: 5 minutes late, 8 minutes late, 10 minutes late….20 minutes late. Oof! For this small-town Iowan, the traffic in Dallas was challenging. It would make my blood boil and raise my blood pressure. Once I would finally get to my destination, my heart would be bounding and the apologies would start, “I’m so sorry I’m late.” It was like this shared experience. Everyone would give each other grace
I quickly learned to surrender to the traffic, to leave really early or simply surrender to the times when I was late and live into the moment. Most often, there was nothing I could do about the traffic and letting it get to me didn’t help anything. While we don’t have big city traffic, we do struggle with the challenges of our everyday lives, navigating those little things that go wrong. Instead of letting it get to you, might you surrender to the moment, recognizing your limits, and take some deep breaths, letting the peace of Christ fill you and the space around you. You still might be late and the object still might be lost, but you can experience a feeling of calm when you slow down your breath and let the Spirit come upon you.