Aug 7, 2008

a day in the life of me: so you had a bad day

It's already been a rough day.

Perhaps yours has been a tad bit better or worse than mine, but I found myself ready to resurrect some old profane and unnecessary words I've often tried to retire from my vocabulary.

And it's only noon.

First I slept through an alarm that kept me from an important 6am meeting. Or I didn't set it right. Either way, this wasn't a trivial thing. It was a critical conversation regarding our new building that we are quickly trying to transition into... the kind of meeting where there are a lot of blueprints and talk about "joists" and "conduits" and "joist conduits." Stuff that I nod my head at and hope my buddy Jon (and our church resource guy) knows about... which he does.

Thankfully, Jon was there.

And so I woke up late, maybe because I was up late. Yesterday I lost a good friend and neighbor to heaven - Judy Auman, whom I've written about before. I'm doing alright, but as a pastor I am a caregiver to many (not to mention my neighborhood and household). Coming back from vacation with 400 emails to sort through (and the aforementioned building deal, and a sermon this Sunday, and... you get the point), this has been challenging.

So I was late today for something else, too. And got lost three times, even with a GPS... even with two GPS systems. So I had to call my wife and ask for directions - several, several times.

Thankfully, Katie was there.

We were talking anyway because we found out this morning that someone charged about $200 on our credit card via iTunes. So I had to stop on the way to my appointment (that I was already late and lost for) to declare this to our bank, who then cut up my debit card. Which means I have no access to money today.

Along the way, someone cut me off in traffic that almost created an accident.

And that was it... I had enough.

I started yelling, which thankfully is considered normal on the highway.

Old words started to swell up on my tongue. The kind that reveal you have lost all use of saying anything intelligent and have to now resort to grunts that have the appearance of power because the make old ladies blush.

I started to speed. I wanted to cut that guy off right back... even though he was doing 80 in a 55. It felt good to hit the accelerator... to realize I was going to reclaim some control to a day that was out of my control.

(Ever notice how so many of our reactions are just that?)

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit was there.

He started to intersect with my chaos through a gentle nudge. It was sort of annoying, actually, because I had a really good plan how I was going to cut the *@&% SUV. (Sorry for making you blush there, mom).

But I knew He was right... especially as He reminded me of the many truths I've been pouring through this summer. Some call them the Ten Commandments, but I like to think of them as the Tender Commandments. Things that remind me to put God first, slow down and build Sabbath into my life that gives me a Bigger Picture perspective than the moment, and to not murder people... even if it's in my mind.

And so my foot lightened up and I just decided I was going to be late. And without money. And with a cell phone battery that is fading. And a GPS battery that is fading.

And yet I'm finding God in the midst of the chaos, even with a wi-fi signal that is about to go awa


Anonymous said...

I struggle with my anger. It usually gets the better of me. I've often considered anger mgt. classes. -It's awesome to see someone give in to God instead of giving in to the momment.

Tony Myles said...

Thanks for this encouragement, but if it were up to me I'd be giving into anger. The truly exciting thing is when you center your life around a God you're willing to let slow you down when you want to turn into a South Park cartoon. That's amazing... grace.