I stopped at the light and saw the homeless man, his sign begging for food, and thought, "Get a job!"
Listening to my friend complain on the phone for 30 minutes took my joy for a nose dive. I dread her griping because it's so depressing.
Opening the mail, I found a medical bill much higher than expected. Gripped by fear, I moaned out loud, "How are we ever going to stay on our budget?"
I've got 10 extra minutes, just enough time to grab some bread from Aldi and still be on time to the church meeting. Then I landed in line behind 3 shoppers with carts fully loaded! No one offered to let me and my tiny bag of bread cut ahead. Foot tapping, throat clearing and heavy huffing did nothing to show them my impatience! Ugh!
Adding to my annoyance, the toddler in the cart in front of me spilled his drink all over himself. . .and ME! I glared as his mother cleaned him up, ignoring my plight completely. By the time I finally checked out, the clerk said, "Have a good day." I snapped back, "Too late for that!"
Dashing to my car, I raced ahead of the lady driving out, knowing I had to make the light in time. Success! At last! I beat her so maybe I'll be on time after all.
As I came to the church meeting and saw all the financial needs, I spoke, "I don't see how we can do all this with our limited budget. Maybe we need to cut back on some of the ministries until we have more money. It's just good business not to operate in the red." Others agreed.
On the way home my cell phone rang. It was my piano student, Jerry. "Mrs. Henderson I hate to tell you but I gotta miss another piano lesson tomorrow because of our ballgame." I sighed deeply then scolded him about his priorities. I know it won't change anything but as his teacher I owed it to him to tell him the truth! At least I felt better telling him he probably won't be ready for recital.
Home at last, I reached for the remote and a big box of chocolates. Ahhhh! Reward time for a tough day. I downed the whole delicious box.
The homeless man approached our car at the stop light. My daughter, Katy, rolled down her window and handed the filthy young man her apple with, "God bless you."
I listened to my friend's familiar drone of complaints on the phone. As she vented I smiled with an occasional "Unh-huh. . .bless your heart." I also did my nails. French manicure looks great. I'm happy, happy, happy.
As our bills arrived, exceeding our budget, I prayed, "Lord, help me to first seek Your kingdom. I know you'll cover the rest." He did! Always does.
My To Do List grew and my time shrunk. Shrank? Became less. I waited in the back of the long line at Walmart. Then a mother of three, cart full, got behind me. I let her go ahead. Instead of meatloaf, we'll have BLTs tonight. Fresh 'maters! Mmmmm-mmmm good.
Sweet little Anna Grace came to me after family movie night at church, tears in her eyes. I had tears too because we were both touched by the film The Son of God. Young Katheryn joined our conversation. We quietly talked about what He did for us. Suffer the little children to come.
I waited for that only parking space as the elderly man slowly backed out. Looks like everyone's out shopping today. Then a lady drove up just as he left. I gestured her to go ahead and take the last spot. She waved a thanks. I found a space at the back of the lot. Oh well, I need the exercise.
Pastor reminded the congregation, "As a church reaches a certain age, maintenance expenses grow. Give above your tithes--offerings cover things like sound systems, re-surfacing the parking lot and so forth. God will honor your faith in giving." They did. He does! We're a church, not a business. We walk by faith, not by sight nor balance sheets.
My piano student arrived late. He was very distracted, obviously unprepared. "What's wrong?" I asked the middle schooler. He cried and talked about the bullies at school. "They call me a nerd!" he sputtered, frustrated, hurt. I praised his abilities and intellect and told him that one day, they'd all look up to him. Today he's finishing his college engineering degree. They do look up to him. Soon they'll work for him too.
I reached for the bag of Dove dark chocolates. I ate one. ONE! It's a miracle!
All of the above events actually happened. They are true. The almost part is that they were not in one day.
Each event, in both lists, reveals whether or not I had love, joy, peace, patience, etc.
On any given day I may choose to live out this verse or not.