Some guy cuts you off. Your kids are bouncing off the walls. Someone took that item you wanted that was on sale. It’s enough to make you want to stomp your feet and demand that you get what you want. In those cases, an apology, silence and that cosy cashmere sweater that would look amazing on you.
Suddenly, you get that phone call that derails your ranting, self-pity train.
Someone is getting a divorce.
Someone is in the hospital.
Someone is battling for their life.
Someone’s child passes away.
Those kids don’t look so crazy anymore, they look like kids. Excited, hyper, healthy children. That guy doesn’t look like the enemy anymore, you’re just glad that no one was injured. That sweater that you missed out on, you can get it another time… or find another one.
This week I received just such a reminder. My kids were fighting and yelling and I was running short on hair to pull out. The phone rang and I learnt that a friend was facing a devastating ordeal. My heart bled (and still does) for the trials my friend is facing. As a believer I have been taught that in the grand scheme of things, all is well and God is still enthroned. He knows every detail, nothing escapes His sight. I also know that the pain and the hurt can be raw and unyielding, like a well of sorrow that never runs dry. The world obscured by a broken heart.
All the minor irritations that would normally set me off suddenly didn’t seems as aggravating. Why does it have to take catastrophe? I look at my life with fresh eyes. I am grateful that my kids are here… to fight with each other. I look at my husband and his tendency to leave piles of paperwork everywhere and know isn’t worth a fight. I look at my parents and siblings, who I am blessed to live close to, and enjoy every conversation with them. Time with my friends is sweeter. I want to able to relax and treasure all the normalness of my day-to-day life, knowing that so easily my world could be tossed into the chaotic winds of change.
I hope that next time a crisis comes up in my world or in the world around me, I won’t look at myself and say ‘I need to be more grateful for all that I have’. I hope to know that I am grateful and that I am living it.