Don’t Be Consumed with Your Stuff!

“If I had continued to consume myself with myself and my stuff I would not have had the opportunity to engage with someone else, hear someone’s story, or share in someone else’s emotions.”

I had an interesting conversation with my Uber driver last week. After getting in the car I was intent on sending emails and messages out on unfinished tasks. Until the driver engaged me in a conversation that soon got my full attention. I then engaged him and a few minutes later we were laughing and talking like old acquaintances. We talked about life, the joy of life, death, jobs, family and before I exited the car the devastation in Mexico. Even through his heavy accent I could understand his pain and sadness when I asked him questions about family or friends effected by the earthquake. He shared no family but a friend. He was killed along with 50 others in a building. Only 4 survived. I expressed my condolences and offered my prayers. My heart was touched. If I had continued to consume myself with myself and my stuff I would not have had the opportunity to engage with someone else, hear someone’s story, or share in someone else’s emotions. It blessed me tremendously. Upon my exit from the car he thanked me. But I thanked him! He made sure he didn’t leave the curb until I entered the airport and we both waved goodbye. If you have a spare second, please whisper a prayer for Guillermo, his family and his friends.
Much love!

The Audacity to Laugh

The first few months of my marriage to hubby, we owned a 1970 bright yellow Sunbeam. Hubby paid a couple of hundred dollars for the car. It sported a sunroof, house carpet for the floors, a tricky brake system and automatic year-round heat, courtesy of the missing engine barrier to the inside of the car. One beautiful summer day we decided to take a scenic drive to Topeka, Kansas (from Manhattan, Kansas) taking the back roads. The drive was beautiful indeed as we laughed and talked, riding with the windows down, enjoying each other’s company. Suddenly we saw road construction signs and construction workers with flags warning drivers to slow down on both sides of the road. A slow pace turned into a stop as the workers began to lay asphalt. What we hoped would be a quick stop turned into a long, sweltering moment in quite an uncomfortable spot. Hubby and I cracked a few jokes at first; however, our laughter became a dead silence as the mid-day sun beat down on us and the engine heat spilled into the car. We dared not turn the car off in fear that the car would not start back up. In Hubby-fashion, he cut the silence with an “It’s so hot” joke and we laughed until we nearly cried. It didn’t make much sense that we could laugh in such an uncomfortable situation. But we were. We were laughing in the midst of our pain, in the midst of our detainment, in the midst of our uncertain moment. The audacity to laugh at such things!

You are in a tight spot right now; an uncomfortable situation. You’ve cried, asked God ‘why’, lashed out, blamed others for your current state, had a pity party and you’ve cried some more. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says,

“Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.”

Life is full of joys and pains, with some downright difficult moments. But hang on and pray, keeping your mind on God. He will bless you with jewels in your valley that you could never find on the mountain top. After all, He is the Lily of the Valley, beside you at your lowest moment. And He’s already arrived at your highest moment, waiting on your humble approach. He is everywhere at the same time. No matter high or low, God is there. He will lead you in all things, if you only let Him. So stir up a smile, dare I suggest, even a laugh. Things will turn around sooner than you imagine.

After hubby and I got out our audacious laugh, the construction worker waved the flag for us to move forward. It was our turn to be released from our uncomfortable condition and to ride freely to our destination. We were delighted to do so! God is prepared to wave the flag for us, giving us permission to move forward, closer to our promise. We may suffer a little while, as others in Christ do; however, in His time He will restore us, make us strong and firm and place us on a firm foundation (1 Peter 5:10). Smile in the midst of your situation. God is near!