I’d had a long day. A long week for that matter.
But I’d come to the end of the long day and the long week and was finally going home to never think or speak again.
I was driving down a two lane road, minding my own business. (TWO LANES is a crucial factor in that sentence.) When my massive SUV came face-to-face with a tiny red mazda miata. In my lane, driving straight for me.
The driver, who I am sure was kind and polite in other circumstances (ahem) stopped just short of my bumper while yelling and gesturing at me and staring at me in utter indignation.
The feeling was mutual. But I was so dumbfounded by the situation I couldn’t bring myself to do anything besides stare.
I realized he had no intention of moving and that if I was ever going to make it home to never think, speak or drive again, then I needed to take matters in my own hands. So I proceeded to pull my car off the road onto the grass and waited for him to pass. Only for him to gesture bigger, speak louder…and for his wife who was sitting shot gun to join in.
And here I thought I was doing him a favor.
The exhaustion had settled so thickly into my bones at that point that I had to sit there for a while and ask myself if I was in fact on the correct side of the road, or if I was really the one at fault.
(Or if I’d been transported to Europe without my knowledge and was unaware that everyone was driving backwards from what I was accustomed too.)
I called Husband, because that is always what I do when I am perplexed and when I have a ridiculous story I need to get off my chest. He assured me I was in fact still in America, and from what he could tell, I was driving properly and the other guy was just confused….or having a bad day…or something.
(I found out later Husband was buying me a donut while I was telling him my story so he was only half listening…but buying me a donut gets him a free pass for just about anything.)
Regardless. I spent the rest of the day feeling guilty that I’d inconvenienced some poor man who was just trying to drive on the wrong side of the road. I felt bad that he’d yelled at me and bad that I’d stirred up so much hatred in his heart. And bad that I’d had the audacity to drive in the first place when clearly he needed to go somewhere so desperately it didn’t matter if he obeyed traffic laws.
And I’m only being slightly dramatic.
Guilt did settle in. That awful guilt that causes you to replay the situation over and over again, and although you know it completely contradicts all common sense, you would do anything to live it all over again in such a way that ends with you not getting yelled at.
I don’t know if that’s a woman thing. Or a me thing. Or a some-of-us women thing. But there it is.
And really, what is boils down too is a need to take on burdens that are not mine to carry. I assume guilt and carry responsibility for things that have absolutely nothing to do with me.
I become entranced by what has happened, and it keeps me from moving on. I get caught up in a moment that wasn’t about me, and miss what the Lord has for me next.
There is an easier way to express what I am saying – distractions.
I think Satan loves to distract us. If he can get me hung up on that which does not matter, I will miss that which does.
If I can get caught up replaying the two-lane-road-mazda-miata-nightmare over and over, I will miss the gift of rest and relaxation at the end of a long week. I will overlook the joy of coming home to my sweet Husband, and the chocolate sprinkled donut he got to surprise me.
I think I often miss the joy of the Lord because I am distracted and hung up on things that have passed and are done and although they affect me, the bottom line is that they have nothing to do with me.
And isn’t that what Satan loves?
For us to miss out on the fullness of life that Christ is offering?
For you, maybe it isn’t Mazda Miatas facing off with you in the middle of the road.
Maybe it was the toddler temper tantrum first thing this morning that you just can’t get past.
Or maybe it’s the rude receptionist who snapped at you and wouldn’t make eye contact.
Or the guy who cut you off.
Or the passive aggressive remark your spouse made before leaving.
Or the cold shower you had to take this morning because someone used all the hot water. (How rude!)
What distraction has you stuck and missing all the beauty and goodness the Lord is offering your day?
Please know that by no means am I trying to trivialize legitimate struggles, but merely talk my way out of the molehills I turn into mountains. The distractions I build up as the end of the world, when really, it wasn’t even the end of my day.
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up your bones.” Proverbs 17:22
What makes your heart joyful?
Let’s dwell on those things and let go what crushes us.
“And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Luke 1:47