“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,”
Philippians 2:14-15 ESV
It would be easy to reflect on this day as one where nothing I wanted to get done actually got done. That it was the Mondayest Monday that ever Mondayed. But even though it was so different from what I thought it would be, I ended the day by seeing the divine even in the disruption.
Let me explain.
I woke up at 6:30 and realized my alarm had not gone off. Normally I wake up at 5 and have two hours of devotional reading prayer, Scripture memorization, and walking my dog. But I had a 7:30 breakfast meeting, so almost none of that happened.
I finished breakfast and headed to the church. I figured I could at least get my scripture memory drills in before our 10:00 staff meeting.
But as I pulled into the parking lot, I got word that a church member was in the emergency room. So I drove straight through the parking lot to the exit on the other side to see this precious church member.
On the way to the hospital, I talked to my wife. She had just found out our daughter-in-law was in the emergency room an hour away. She had fallen carrying our grandson into his daycare. She was concerned that her wrists were broken, and they were wondering if our grandson needed to be checked out also. Our son was asking if one of us could come help. Because my work schedule as a pastor is more flexible than my wife’s schedule in her job, I told her I would go after the visit with my church member.
I called my office and told my teammates what was happening, I got to our hospital to check on the church member and found out my church member had already been discharged.
So I headed to Opelika, and along the way, I listened to my audio Bible for most of the way. Prayed for some more of it. So one of the two hours I missed because I woke up late was made up for.
My Apple Maps got me to the East Alabama Medical Center in Auburn exactly when it said it would. The only problem was that it was the wrong hospital. So I googled EAMC Emergency Room, and was directed to the new, beautiful, freestanding ER in Auburn. When she wasn’t there either, I realized that I needed to be at the East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, about fifteen minutes away.
A couple of days ago I started listening to an audiobook called “A Complaint Feee World.” I’ll write a review of it soon, but essentially it’s about how much your life can change if you eliminate complaining, criticizing, or gossip from your everyday speech. The idea is simple: put a silicone bracelet on your wrist, and move it to the other wrist every time you catch yourself complaining. If you can make it through an entire day, then that is Day one. If you have to move your bracelet, you have to start over. The goal is to complete 21 days.
This was the biggest test yet since I put on a bracelet. I wanted to say bad words. I wanted to beat my fist against my forehead and yell at my phone for taking me where I told it to go instead of where I needed to go. I wanted to tell Apple Maps where it could go.
But I didn’t want to move my bracelet. So I took some deep breaths and turned my inner rant into a spoken prayer. And I remembered Philippians 2:14- “Do all things without grumbling or disputing,”
I got to the ER literally as my son was signing the discharge papers. No broken bones or sprains, just some abrasions where she hit the concrete. I was at the hospital for about two minutes.
We got her home, and then I drove my son to pick up my grandson and her car from the daycare. Along the way, my son and I had a great conversation. I realized just how mature he is, and what an example of Christ he is to his wife. And to me.
We picked up my grandson, I hugged them both, and then I hit the road. And on the way home, I finished the audiobook I would have listened to if I had taken my dog for a walk. So the second hour I missed because I woke up late was made up for.
I’m not going to pretend that I never had to move my bracelet today. Now, Day 1 starts tomorrow. But I can tell you that I was very conscious of my gratitude for what God gave me today instead of grumbling about my “wasted day.”
- I had two hours of focused quiet time.
- My daughter in law and grandson are going to be just fine.
- I had a wonderful time with my son.
- I finished my book with time to spare, and spent the remaining time processing the book itself.
In God’s economy nothing is ever wasted. No experience is ever unredeemed. I could legitimately thank God for my three hour unnecessary trip. It was a divine disruption.
And tomorrow is a new day! Hopefully I’ll get to walk my dog. And keep my bracelet where it is when I wake up.