Everything That Could Go Wrong

Today was one of those days.

I spent an hour stuck idling on the freeway this morning, while a stalled big rig was dealt with. I was headed to an Apple store to pick up a laptop I left with them the night before in order to have the trackpad replaced. They told me they’d try to have it ready by the morning. The machine is crucial to my work, so I was anxious to have it back.

Though I arrived an hour after the store had opened, the laptop wasn’t ready. They weren’t able to get to it the night before. I was told it would be a couple of hours before a tech came in who could take care of it. (Bleah!)  Since they had the laptop, and my iPhone died about a week ago, I had to kill that time without electronics! (Whine, whine, whine.)

The good times didn’t stop there. Later, when I got the laptop back and started work, I discovered several urgent bugs waiting for me that needed to be fixed ASAP. While dealing with that I got a call from AT&T.   While I should be eligible to upgrade my iPhone, because of a purely bureaucratic technicality they won’t let me have the upgrade price. I was none too happy. I can’t afford the price they want and I don’t consider it fair. I wasted hours on the phone over the course of this week trying to reason with their reps.  This call was the final word.  Enough is enough.  I now have a new home phone and Internet provider and I’m looking for a new cell provider.

I don’t know who coined the word “frazzled,” but it perfectly fits this day.

This is just one day. I’ve had quite a few like this recently. It would be depressing, except I feel so much gratitude to God in the grander scheme of things that these frustrations aren’t beating the hope out of me. Gratitude is powerful.  God has given me much grace through much harder trials in the last year.  I’m filled with it.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t fake gratitude in my heart. I’m either honestly thankful or honestly not. When I’m not, I can be an unpleasant person. I don’t like that person. You wouldn’t either. Without gratefulness I start feeling I’m owed something I’m not. That’s a really annoying trait.  “I’m entitled!” “God, you owe me!” It’s pretty hard to make that case before God.

Gratefulness has the opposite effect, creating a pleasing quality.  It comes when I stop and consider all the good around me, search for it even.  It makes me deeply appreciate God and others.  It makes me thankful for what I have.  It’s calming, humbling, and releasing. Fighting for control is exhausting. Gratefulness reminds me that in spite of all the complaints I have, God is above all of them. He’s greater than every problem.

For most of us, it’s pretty rare that a day comes and goes that doesn’t have issues. Jesus said, “Each day has enough trouble of its own. Let tomorrow worry about itself.” Hard words to live by, but he ought to know. If God is really working out all things for the good of those who love him, those who love him really have a lot to be thankful about.

Even if you don’t feel a connection with God, I’m certain you can identify with the power of gratitude, just based on your own experience. It makes the heart glad. A connection with God makes it all the more encompassing.

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