Three or four times a week I have a 30-minute drive, both directions, so I like to try and avoid construction zones and freeway traffic, simply because I prefer to not interact with stressed-out drivers, nor do I want to become one. So I always drive the back country roads where I can enjoy a peaceful drive and pretty scenery while exploring new ways to get where I’m going.
Thursday, as I was on my way back from running my errands, I had gone to a new place which was a little further than I normally would go, and had a little bit of trouble with my directions on my “inner compass”. I ended up turning left instead of right, and much to my displeasure, I was forced to get on the road that I was trying to avoid. As I sat at the stop sign waiting for my turn to merge into the slow-moving traffic and construction work, I was irritated with myself for making such a dumb mistake. “I knew I should’ve turned right back there! Now I’ve got to deal with this junk! So frustrating!…”
After I was done complaining to myself, a spot opened up for me to join the chaos, and as I made my way onto the dreaded road, I got a “life lesson” and encouragement:
Sometimes, we’re not meant to avoid difficulties in life; we don’t always have to look for the easy way out of situations and circumstances that make us uncomfortable or frustrated, or because we don’t want to deal with other people. Sometimes, we just need to endure, with the right attitude, and embrace the character building that comes from it.
As I relaxed and continued to drive, traffic began to move a bit more smoothly and quickly; and turns out the construction work has actually been making some progress since the last time I was forced to drive that road, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
The best part is, later that day I was able to share this lesson with my stepdaughter, after watching her endure a hurtful and uncomfortable moment due to the frustrating situation that we’ve been dealing with for a long time now, as with much frustration and confusion she asked me why things aren’t “changing” yet, and “how stupid it is the way things are”. What I shared seemed to help her let go of the frustration she was feeling, at least for now.
The hard part is maintaining the right attitude, and trusting God to work out the details the way they are meant to be worked out. Most of the time that means we’re going to have to be “uncomfortable”, at least for a little while. But, usually we can look back and say, “It really wasn’t that bad”.