Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down

What a Monday! While it was sunny as all get out and 109 degrees on this particular day, what a day!

Let me describe it for you. My son gets home at 3:00 AM, which means I don’t go to sleep prior to going to pick him up at the train station. Bring him home get to bed around 4:30 AM up at about 8:00 AM. I then proceed to take my son to Team Kansas Junior Camp, A camp for high school wrestlers on their way to the National tournament in Fargo North Dakota next week. He had just returned from the Olympic Training Center where he spent a week training there. I get him to camp, leave him along with my wife and stop at a local store to get something to drink.

Living in Kansas has its draw backs, among those are the flavors of the south that we have
learned to enjoy. Among those flavors are certain foods and certain drinks, none no less than the wonderful soft drink Cheerwine. In fact we enjoy the drink so much it is not unusual for us to order a case or two every couple of months via the internet because you can’t find it in Kansas. Well lo and behold, at this small Conoco store right off I-135 in McPherson Kansas we find the drink. My wife and I are, as they say, as happy as two peas in a pod.

On the way home I make a prank phone call to my daughter on the cell phone. She isn’t at home so I leave a message that it is an emergency to call us.

30 minutes later, bam, we have a flat tire, in the middle of Kansas Farmland, in the middle of no where. It is then that we experience one of the joys of being an adult.

For some reason, as I try to endure the 109 degree heat by putting a floor mat on the side of an interstate highway, on the front drivers side to change the tire I find myself getting miserable. I finally unwind the bubble spare, (one of the worst inventions of all time) from underneath the carriage of the van. As I sit trying to remove the lug nuts from the tire, I find myself thinking of all things, especially on this extremely hot day, of the movie A Christmas Story with Darren McGavin. I see him changing the tire in one of the scenes in the movies. I feel like quoting his son a few times, but restrain. All in all I am doing pretty good, until I get the donut bubble spare tire, (have I said one of the worst inventions of all time), onto the wheel. Then as I let the jack down, (new jacks are the 2nd worst inventions of all time.) I find out that the bubble is, well, is flat. I didn’t even think those things had air in them. Now I know it isn’t one of the worst inventions of all time, it is the worst invention of all time.

I call my daughter back, this time with a real emergency. She comes along with her husband, as I drive 6 miles, on a rim of a bubble tire to a little town called Hallstead Kansas. While there, I find a gas station, pay 75 cents for air, as I listen to my wife complain about why we have to pay for something we breathe. I end up driving the car to the next town about 7 miles away, Hesston. Halstead is so small I can’t get find a place to fix my tire. I finally find a place, he can put in a plug but is getting off work and can’t put the spare back on the car. What a great guy when he finally decides to put the tire back on the van. Whew!

I finally get home about 7:30 PM after a 8 hour trip an hour away. Yep, I know, some get frustrated that I don’t get more done, God forbid I have things happen to me just like anyone else on this miserable planet.

That was my day, which was how I could have looked at my day. I had so much that on the surface could have gone wrong, and in fact did go wrong. Yet, I had some good things happen as well. I enjoyed a good bottle of Cheerwine and got to spend a couple of hours with my son. I also got to have a nice dinner with my daughter and son in law who live several miles away. Yes, I had some good things happen as well.

I guess that is the reminder for the day. We can focus on the crap that goes on around us, and I don’t know of what else to call it, or we can chose to focus on the good.

I have grown up quite a bit over the years. There was a time that yesterday’s main point of focus was on what brought me down. It wasn’t though. I didn’t yell one time, didn’t get mad, didn’t get too frustrated. Instead I focused on how glad I was that we had air conditioning in the car, especially since we had just had it serviced last week. I focused on how I was glad the blow out didn’t happen on my trip to Fargo this weekend; I focused on the time with my daughter and son in law; I focused on the fact that I had just purchased Season 5 of South Park for $19; I focused on the good of what God has done as opposed to the difficulties I had faced. Focusing on the good overcame the entire negative.

What will you focus on? How will you deal with the difficulties you face?

1 Chronicles 4: 10 - One day he prayed to Israel's God, "Please bless me and give me a lot of land. Be with me so I will be safe from harm." And God did just what Jabez had asked.


The Prayer of Jabez

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