09 May, 2014

An Attitude Adjustment Was Needed Today

Sometimes we all have "one of those days." We could probably spend hours... or even days of telling of just how bad our day was, and each of us would have a different tale to tell. This entire week has been like that. I came down sick Sunday afternoon and have fought it until today when while still weak, at least I felt better. I knew I had to get some things done. I've been unable to get my yard work done and really needed to cut the grass before it rained again. I really did not feel up to it, but it really needed to be done. I went out to cut it and the riding mower had a flat tire and a dead battery. When I went to take the battery out to get a new one, the battery cable going to the starter broke off. I went to the store to get the battery, which I found right away, but that store did not have the cable I needed. It took two more visits to stores before I found one. I came home and got ready to fix the mower when my phone rang. My wife had bitten her tongue so severely that they could not get the bleeding to stop and she was going to the Emergency Room in Peoria. Then I was told that her cell phone was missing and that it probably was stolen. (That's 2 phones in the past few months that have been stolen in her classroom). I was going to go to the hospital, but Libby told me to not come, that she would be fine. My this time, it was starting to sprinkle off and on, so I hurried and put the mower back together and aired up the tire and started mowing the yard as fast as I could. I was not quite finished and the rains came. As you can well imagine, by this time, I'm stressed out. Soon afterward my phone rings again and while I won't go into it, it was one of those phone calls that a pastor dreads. When my wife came home, right after she came in the phone rings again and we are told that her mother has been in a very bad car accident. For the next couple of hours we were trying to get information as to how she was. Turned out that she was banged up and has some issues to follow up with a doctor about, but was released from the hospital. By this time I was so stressed out that I just needed to get out for a drive to calm my nerves... and to pray. 

I got in my car, and to be honest, I had a little pity party for a little bit. I'm not proud of it, but I pretty well threw a temper tantrum at God for a few minutes. (Don't you know sometimes God wants to just look at us and say, "Really?")  Just about the time I was finished with my outburst, I turned a corner and there in front of me was a guy I know who is homeless. It's pretty normal to see him all over town walking around, but this time he really caught my eye. As I looked at him, his face was swollen and bruised and I knew some punks had probably jumped him and beat him up for the fun of it. Seeing him was a cold slap in the face about just how blessed I am and how that most of the issues that I've gone through this week were really so stinking trivial that it is not even funny. About 2 minutes later, I got a text message from a friend, telling me about another friend who had brain surgery yesterday to remove a tumor and that they were not able to get it all, and they were now anxiously waiting for the test results to find out if it is cancer. I had to sit there in that parking lot for a few minutes to get my head together. I found myself thinking, "you had a stomach virus and your wife lost a cell phone. Big deal!"  I mean really... I'm getting over the virus. Yeah, it's taken 4 days... but I'm over it. And we can get another cell phone, and if we could not... SO WHAT? Sometimes I think we were better off without them anyway!

I had to spend some time repenting of my attitude and realigning my thoughts about what really matters. My wife bit her tongue... but it will heal. I got a battery. I will fix the tire. The rest of the grass... it will be there. Rather than being angry at the guy who blew through the stop light and hit Libby's mom... I'm now thanking God that she is going to be OK. It could have been bad. Real bad. But thank God she is going to be OK after a few days of being sore. I'm blessed. I've been VERY blessed. Tonight after Libby went to bed I was sitting here thinking about the past week and an old tune by Bing Crosby kept running through my mind. Some of you old timers might remember it. 

When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings

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