Have you ever made plans for your day, scheduled everything out just perfectly, to only have them fall apart due to unforeseen delays or events?
What purpose is there to unforeseen circumstances in life? Missed flights, stuck in traffic, long wait at the doctor’s office or in line at DMV, a sick child or pet; do they serve any purpose? Or, do they simply exist and have no cause or affect?
Does how we handle the unexpected circumstances perhaps reveal something about ourselves? Do we have reactions that surprise us? Are there things inside we don’t like to see surface or want exposed in such times?
When our plans go awry, are we able to give thanks in the middle of the situation? Do we remain calm and peaceful or become irritated and upset? Does our happiness quickly fade away? Are we still pleasant to deal with or become intolerable? Does our body and/or verbal language change?
Are things going askew happenstance, the work of an enemy force, or Divine intervention? Whatever the cause, if God is good and works all things out for our good, can we stop in the midst of unplanned situations, and take a moment to examine how we are reacting to what is taking place? Are we reacting with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control; or does some of our fruit (of the Holy Spirit) need to ripen a little more?
If we respond in a manner not so pleasing, don’t be discourage, we are all a continual work in progress as we are being molded into the image of Jesus Christ. So let’s take a deep breath and thank the Lord for showing us what still needs some work in our lives, ask him to help us in our area of shortcomings and take some corrective actions. First, we can begin with a humble apology to those we may have shown a less than Christ like attitude to and ask for forgiveness if necessary. Then, give an invitation to the Holy Spirit to search the inner most parts of our being and reveal to us what is not pleasing to the Lord. Next, pray as King David did “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” Psalm 51:10. Finally, take action, with the Lord’s help, on what he shows us needs to be changed.
Perhaps the next time we have an unexpected delay in the midst of a hectic day, we can relax, even enjoy the moment, smile and say “Okay, Lord, looks like I have some extra time, what’s on Your mind?