Making a Mountain Out of a Molehill and Back Again

Making a Mountain Out of a Molehill and Back Again

Sometimes, I do stupid things.  Sometimes, I make small, insignificant situations into large problems.  That seems foolish, but then sometimes I turn around and make a big deal of the little thing I made a big deal of.

Because: logic isn’t always my strong suit when it comes to feelings.

A situation at school that I could, and should, have handled better, snowballed into something more than it ever should have been.  Yet when it reached its conclusion, I found myself quickly sliding into annoyance with myself over the entire situation.

“Trish, really?  You let a little thing become so much bigger than it logically should have been.  This is your sixth year and you are in charge of the department.  Shouldn’t you know better?”

Maybe, I should have.  But that isn’t what happened.

Instead, I experienced a situation where I didn’t do the best.  It is even more self-defeating, though, to beat myself up over the situation.  I would thereby perpetuate the problem.  In the scheme of my day, this was a small matter and I shouldn’t give it more weight by focusing more time and energy on how I mismanaged the problem. Continue reading “Making a Mountain Out of a Molehill and Back Again”

Snow and Humanity

Snow and Humanity

I love what snow does to humanity.

Granted, I am not a fan of driving in snow, but I get a strange exhilaration from the experience.  In the midst of snow or after a heavy snowfall, I find myself willing humanity to work together.  Even though difficulties can sometimes bring out the worst in us, it can also bring out the best in us.  Last night, I encountered people driving cautiously and courteously.  People were more patient as their fellow drivers struggled to stop at lights or took a couple extra seconds to gain traction.

The snow forces me to be concerned about the other, even if for nothing other than my own self-preservation.  I am particularly aware of how far their vehicle is from mine or what I can do to make their commute home a little easier.  Instead of only being concerned if I get through the light, I am instead considering what will be best for those with whom I share the road.  It is good for humanity to experience the gift of working with each other for the good of all. Continue reading “Snow and Humanity”

The Wal-Mart Heart Change

I could feel it increasing in my heart.  My fingers tapped on the shopping cart as the impatience within escalated.

Standing in the speedy checkout line at Wal-Mart, I was feeling pressed for time.  I hadn’t wanted to stop at Wal-Mart, but I needed glitter.  Never in my life have I purchased glitter, so it took a bit of meandering before I found what I needed.  A few other items found their way into my hands and then I was at the checkout.  Waiting.

The sense of urgency was palpable in Wal-Mart.  I could feel it because I had places to be, things to do, and the rush of shoppers waiting at the checkout lines declared that they had similar situations.  The clerk tending the cash register was taking care of one customer and it seemed to take a while.  His credit card wasn’t accepted and he was on the phone.

Minutes passed.  I kept eyeing other lines, watching them line up and pass through while I waited.  Finally, the woman ahead of me moved forward in line.  Change needed to be dispensed into the tray and we watched her unroll two packs of quarters.  Then the cashier counted the gifts bags.

1…2…3…4…5…6…7…8…9…10

10 gifts bags.  Then she swiped one.  And repeated the act seven more times.  She stopped and began to count the number of bags on the screen.  But she must have lost track of which line she was on so she took a piece of paper, holding it up to guide herself line by line.  The customer told her that she had only scanned eight but there were ten.  The cashier finished counting, swiped another, and then keyed in another.

I’m feeling impatient, inwardly reminding myself that it is Advent, the season of waiting.  But for some reason, my time feels more important.  Perhaps it is part of the human condition.  We are quick to hurry others, almost insulted that they should waste our precious time.

I will my heart to stop pounding with impatience.  Almost like hushing a baby, I remind my heart that there is enough time for what is necessary.  Slow down, slow down.  Do what you tell your students to do: practice patience, seek holiness in the simple, ordinary things in life.  Be faithful in small matters.

And my heart slows.  When I approach the cashier, I am greeting her as though I never waited.  I am striving to not make myself the most important person in the situation.  The anxious tapping of impatience is brushed away for a moment, and I try to hang onto this as I navigate the parking lot and the line of cars waiting to exit.

Later, I will lose this patience and peace.  I will rush about, attempting to do in a couple hours what should have been done in days.  And I will miss the joy of the present moment and seek to tend to things rather than to people.  But for all the missteps that will later follow, I am reminded of that moment in the checkout line.  That moment when my agitated heart encountered the peace that it was always meant to have.

Say to the fainthearted, “Take courage and fear not. Behold, our God will come and will save us.” -Isaiah 35:4

There He is: saving me from myself in the Wal-Mart checkout line.