Friday, March 6, 2015

What Are You Gonna Do Now?

The other day I was going to observe in a kindergarten classroom. This year has been the year of observations. I've had to do several for my university classes. This particular day, I had to be at the school by 8:00 am. And Cindy needed to go into the office to work. We left the house early (at least much earlier than we usually do). We stopped for breakfast at a convenience store; that means I got coffee in a cup with one of those plastic lids.

I dropped Cindy off and sat in the parking lot for a while to drink my coffee...before going on to the school. Something happened. I'm still not sure what. I bumped/jostled the cup; it tipped; I tried to steady it; the lid flew off; the coffee poured down my leg and into the floor of my truck. At least a third of a large cup of coffee. Hot coffee.

I didn't know what to do. I had a wet pants leg and a soggy floorboard. And I was due at the school in about 45 minutes. I could not go home to change and get back to the school in time.

I yelled a little. I panicked a little. I took a deep breath. Then I made a plan. I drove to a store to get paper towels. I sopped up as much as I could from the floor. By then my leg began to dry. And my pants were dark so the spill didn't really show much.

Why this story? Well, I've been experiencing a lot of these types of things lately.

Programs that won't work. Lost things that I just had a couple of minutes before. A frozen computer that means I just lost unsaved work. Over and over I keep having these things.

I think God's been trying to teach me something. These things happen. They are usually small. They are always frustrating. They often make me angry.

These things happen. And I must deal with them.

God's showing me that, no matter what, I'll face these ongoing frustrations that challenge my patience and my calm. I cannot avoid them or stop them. What I can do is deal with them in a better way.

I may grimace or grunt. I may punch the air (but not anyone or anything). But I still must deal with them.

So now I'm learning to take a deep breath. Walk away for a minute. Pray for patience and guidance. (That's usually the last thing I try. Maybe it should be the first.) And then I deal with it. Calmly and thoughtfully. As best as I can in the circumstances. And learn from it.

It's not the big things that get me. It's those small frustrations that trigger doubts in my competence (or sometimes sanity).

Stuff happens. How can I deal with it that honors God?

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