While having a heated conversation with a friend of mine days ago (I really don’t recall what we were talking about) he asked me something that got my mind racing.
“Is there a time you are not okay Lutgard? You are always smiling, do you get annoyed?”
Now at that moment I went mute like for 30 seconds, my mind racing in reverse thinking of the many times I do get annoyed in a single day. (Of course they are there)
Who doesn’t get annoyed or disappointed any way?
To quickly rub off the awkward silence, I reminded him of times he had witnessed my temper flare.
We laughed and he said ‘I know but this doesn’t take a lot of time and you are already teething (Oh yes! he said teething)
I need to confess this was a decision I made to keep smiling always no matter what is going on, and how life is messed up in that moment.
I remember making this decision sometime when I was at rock bottom. Times when I believed my world was falling apart. (I say believed because looking back it was the natural course of life happening)
This is a time I would lock myself in my house and cry myself to sleep, didn’t want or didn’t have the energy to talk to God or anyone but continually wished things would miraculously be different, and guess what they never did. Or maybe they did and I was too grief stricken to even notice.
So when I was tired of being tired, I stood up, dusted myself and walked back to reality. (Do you remember that famous story in the bible about the prodigal son, who came to his senses and went back home? I was that boy at that moment.) I made some hard but important decisions and among them was, I cannot have time to get annoyed. Its too much work you can agree with me right?
Again I need to be clear here, I am not saying you will not get angry, disappointed, discouraged name it; of course you will but the degree of effect will be significantly different.
Pete Greig in his book, GOD ON MUTE says that it is very important to pray for the ‘stupid’ things too like getting that space in the parking lot rather than seeking God for only the big shots like getting that job slot. In that way we learn to be grateful for the tinniest of things happening around us.
Now someone will ask me how easy is this for a mother who has just lost her pregnancy in the 8th month or at birth, a girl who has been abused countless times by his own father, you can name the worst case scenario.
I will tell you, I don’t how this will happen for this case other than praying for God’s grace but I will tell you for sure that when you deliberately choose something and pray for strength it happens almost unconsciously.
When my dad passed even after hoping the lord would listen and answer my (our) prayer to heal him and let him live to walk me down the aisle, he chose to answer with a sweet No.
I had reasons to throw my happiness away, question God why He wouldn’t answer my prayer (according to my will of course) but I chose to be thankful for the manner in which he died.
Life is a bitch I will tell you but God is good.
But the most important lesson of all I have learnt is the way life is lived is a decision made…..