How do you respond when things don’t go according to plan?
Let me explain.
Last week was a challenging week. I was traveling most of it. In hindsight, I tried doing too much. And things certainly DID NOT go according to plan.
In fact, lots of things went wrong.
The weather was a killer. Extreme cold delayed my flights. I drove through a rainstorm on my way to the Seattle-Tacoma airport that was so bad I could hardly see the car in front of me. The drive back from Detroit took twice as long due to a snowstorm.
Throughout the week, I was late to meetings, rushing around, and struggling to keep up with emails and messages. The delays prevented me from finishing a project I needed to get done. And I didn’t have time to blog.
At times, I was frustrated and stressed. I normally love to travel but it seemed that no matter how much extra time I allocated, I was still late.
In the past, I would have let it really get to me.
But I didn’t.
In fact, I found myself using the time in the car or waiting on a runway to pray about my set-backs and disappointments. I’ve been trying to do that more: giving God my stress.
It’s not a prayer like, God take this stress. Rather, it’s a prayer that asks: God, help me to keep my perspective on what’s really important.
See, despite my plans, things are going to go wrong. Duh right!
And what I am learning to go easier on myself. I am learning to trust that the challenges (even the inane ones) are an opportunity for me to be intentional about the person I want to be. I follow Jesus and that means ALL areas of my life come under his authority, even the snowstorms and delayed flights. When things go wrong, I still have the opportunity invite Jesus into the midst of my frustration and disappointment.
What about you?
Think about the last time something didn’t go right for you—something didn’t go according to plan.
- How did you respond?
- Who did you blame?
- Who did you treat poorly because you were in pissy mood?
- Did you see it as an opportunity to grow?
Here’s the value in things going awry: we get the opportunity to respond. In fact, the more I reflect on this crazy week, the more I realize its the journey that matters anyway.
What really matters in life is how we respond to it. Our character matters to God. God is certainly more interested in how we travel the journey, then we what accomplish along the way.
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