Lessons In The Delays
Ok…so as I sit at the airport having missed not only my flight but also not being able to get another one today at all, I’m reminded of something we tend to forget. We forget because we are frustrated, angry or pick any number of other emotions you feel when you get delayed.
We make our plans and schedule our lives, put it into our calendars only for some of them not to work out as planned. That can illicit any number of reactions based on how much sleep you’re currently working from, how much caffeine you’ve had or how important your plan was to you.
But what we don’t realize in the moment is…what is this delay saving us FROM? A lady, who usually takes the bus into Manhattan every day, was delayed because the bus was late. She soon realized this delay saved her life in the 9/11 tragedy. She would have already been at her desk in one of the towers that was hit that day. There were so many similar stories that day.
There are countless stories like this of people who got frustrated because they were running late, missed their exit on the highway, missed a flight, lost a job etc. only to realize later that the very inconvenience they were bemoaning actually saved them from a far greater tragedy. Unfortunately we don’t always know the thing we are avoiding by our delay. We just have to trust that we just may be better off being delayed than being on schedule!
Perspective. It’s everything. How we look at an issue won’t necessarily change it but it can be an amazing opportunity to be grateful, to learn, to forgive and to pause. Pause is defined as, “temporary inaction, or to linger.” We just don’t pause enough! A distraction or an interruption in plans can be a perfect time to pause and see what this unexpected delay in our plans may be offering us.
Sure it’s not fun to have our plans derailed, but it’s going to happen whether we like it or not. Soooo my point is, since we can’t control everything, oops, sorry to all you control freaks, we need to pause and take a deep breath and see what we can be gaining instead of losing.
The Word tells us to rejoice. Rejoice means to “return to the source of your joy.” My joy is not based on my circumstances being to my preference, or to my plans never being interrupted or to always having my way. My joy comes from within, from my relationship with Jesus. He is my source. When life smacks us in the face we look inward, to a Savior who promises to never change.
Paul tells us in 1 Thess. 5:16-18 to, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.” We don’t rejoice FOR bad things but IN them. We can’t control anything that is outside of us we can only control ourselves.
After missing my flights I had to make new plans.I had to call my daughter-in-law for a ride back to their house, spend one more night on their couch, and get up at dawn (NOT my favorite thing to do at all) and go back to the airport. I had to miss several meetings scheduled for the next day, and most of all miss seeing my husband and puppies another day. This.is.truly.tragic!
But…what did I GET to do?
1. Eat dinner with my family.
2. Bathe my grandchildren.
3. Hear my grandchildren giggle as we played (that’s the best)
4. Have some great conversations with people I love.
5. Laugh till we cried at YouTube videos…it’s the little things!
Was my delay frustrating, YES. But I purposed to look at it differently. I chose to pause, to be grateful I can fly to see my family and friends, to look for the good in the delay. I chose to enjoy where I found myself despite where I wanted to be.