Spring Break. Sophomore year of college. Two friends and I got wild and crazy. We drove to Chicago for a Beth Moore College Women’s Conference. With my mother. I know. How wild and rebellious we were. Still, we planned this trip for months, and all of us were beyond excited. We were going to hear Beth Moore in a small setting. We had tickets to see Wicked! Everything shaped up for this to be a once in a lifetime trip.
Then we hit downtown Chicago during rush hour. I was driving. Susie, the Garmin, spouted off directions in her monotonous drone. All went well until she told me to turn down Wacker Drive.
If you have been to Chicago, you probably know what I am about to say.
Y’all, Wacker Drive goes underground. Underground in downtown Chicago. I am from small town Mississippi. We do not even have an interstate in my town. We have red lights, but no major roadways. Definitely nothing underground.
I’m telling you it was impossible to get out of this underground maze. Susie was so baffled, she did not know what to tell us. “Recalculating,” in the most irritated tone ever, became her mantra. We were stuck down there for what felt like forever. I was terrified, embarrassed, and just wanted to go home.
After minutes that seems like days, we finally escaped and made it to the hotel. But the damage was done. I let that negative experience steal my joy and anticipation of the weekend. I was anxious and nervous for the rest of the trip. My mind was consumed with how are we going to get home without going down that dreaded Wacker Drive again. I could not rest until I was safely back at home. In the midst of my worry and concern, I am sure I missed out on much of the fun in that trip.
Sadly, this is not an isolated experience for me. I often find myself so anxious for the next thing that I miss the right now.
Sometimes I miss the bigger moments of life.
While serving in Thailand as a summer missionary, I marked the days off looking anxiously towards the weekends when we got to go back to the missionary compound instead of really investing in the children around me.
Pushing through to graduation, I forgot to just stop and enjoy being a student and the unique time in life college presents.
Sometimes it’s the small things that pass me by.
Worried about getting stuck in traffic on the way home and getting in bed late, I miss the fun of the Rangers winning a baseball game and my husband’s excitement in being there.
In such a hurry to get blogs written and dinner cooked, I forget to enjoy playing with my son.
Some days, I breathe in God’s grace and enjoy my place in life. But other times I am too consumed with self and anxious to move on that I miss the beauty of the moment. But each day is a gift to be rejoiced in.
“This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it” Psalm 127:1.
Are you anxious to be married? Need to get supper on the table? Anxiously waiting to become a parent? Do you have 10 things still on your to do list? Are you worried about finances or your job? Wondering when the diapers and laundry will every end?
You’re not alone, but God did not create us to live captive to our anxieties and worries. Christ came to give us freedom (Galatians 5:1) and life more abundantly (John 10:10).
Stop and breathe in the wonder of that Truth. Breathe it in and let it fill you up.
Now look around and see what you were missing. As the country song says, it won’t be like this for long.
By: Mary Beth, New Life Steward
Leave a Comment