Time was tight that day. Earlier in the week, I had dropped my phone, shattering the screen. My husband wanted to drop it off at the Apple store on the other side of town for repair. I hesitantly agreed with his plan even though I wondered if it was wise.
I had prepped for a medical procedure scheduled for early that afternoon at the hospital, and it was vital that I arrive on time. He assured me we would be done with plenty of time to get to the hospital. The plan was for him to run quickly into the store while I waited in the car.
Five minutes….ten minutes…twenty minutes passed, and I started getting antsy. Thirty minutes, and he still had not come back. Now I was steaming. Where was he? If we didn’t arrive in thirty minutes, my appointment would surely be cancelled, and I would have to reschedule and then go through the prep again.
As each minute ticked by, I got more and more ticked off. There was no way to call him, as he had my phone! I had no other choice but to stomp the few blocks over to the store, grab him, and leave.
“What is taking so long?!” I huffed as I stormed into the store. The technician was filling out a lengthy repair job form. “Come on, we need to go NOW!” I demanded. My frustration level was through the roof, and I didn’t care if the technician heard it.
“It will only take a few more minutes,” he reassured me.
I explained our predicament. My appointment was in twenty minutes; the drive would take thirty. Even if we left right then, I would be late — and could be turned away. Fuming, I restrained myself and allowed the tech to finish the form, and we quickly exited the store.
“I KNEW this was a bad idea, trying to fit this into our schedule this morning!” I complained as I slammed the car door. Using my husband’s phone, I called the hospital and relayed the message that I was running late and asked if I could still get the procedure done.
“I think so,” came the reply.
At that moment, we came to a set of railroad tracks, and the crossing arms came down. “Oh, perfect!” I sarcastically howled, “Another delay. How long is THIS going to take?!” Out of my mouth flew a torrent of indignant words, “If you hadn’t insisted we go to the Apple store first…” I started.
In the midst of my fury, a quiet thought trickled into my mind. “Invite Me into this.”
“Oh, shoot!” I recalled I had been on a journey of intentionally inviting Jesus into my messes, and here He was, knocking again, asking me to bring Him into this moment. Everything within me wanted to continue my tirade, but I stopped mid-sentence and turned my frustration upwards into a brief prayer. Lowering my voice, I prayed, “Jesus, I give You this situation and invite You into it.”
“Amen,” my husband chimed in.
It was a long train. As the cars lumbered past, I could feel my blood pressure lowering and my breathing slowing down. With every passing freight car, I released
my schedule… my timing… my plans… my life.
By the time we arrived at the hospital, I was thirty-five minutes late. Apologizing and explaining my delay, I inquired if it were possible for me to still be seen. The receptionist responded, “The patient after you had mistakenly arrived an hour early, and we began to prep her for her procedure ahead of you. So, basically, we exchanged appointment times, and all is well.”
Astounded, I laughed and blurted out, “That’s amazing!” Then I pondered, “How much energy and vexation I could have saved myself had I trusted and invited Jesus into this delay earlier?”
Prayer: Father, You are Lord of the clock and the calendar. When we relinquish them to You, the crossing arms of the railroad and the ticking arms of the clock move in syncrasy. Our times are in Your hands, and underneath are Your everlasting arms.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:5,6 NASB.
~ Janet Mueller, writer
~ Natalie Ziemba, artist