The 2013 Conference of Presidents just happened with the theme “Celebrate” and the supporting scripture coming from I Thessalonians 5:16-18, which starts off by saying, ‘rejoice always.’ I’m finding it difficult to rejoice in every situation, especially when it comes to dealing with rush hour traffic.
This past Wednesday, I left the office and headed for home at 5:30 pm. I finally arrived in my garage at 8:00 pm. I realize that I live a good distance from the office—42 miles—but 2 ½ hours, that’s ridiculous!
So while I was taking this road trip, I had time to think and reflect. My first thoughts centered on the cause for the traffic delay. Why was traffic at a standstill? Maybe there was a multi-car pileup or possibly an accident with fatalities. Or maybe there were a lot of state troopers on the road? This tends to interfere with the flow of traffic. As I continued to drive, I saw no evidence of anything to cause the creeping traffic.
So I began to get frustrated. But that didn’t last for long because I began to think on the I Thessalonians scripture. “Rejoice always.” Yes, I could get upset at the fact that it was taking me forever to drive home and the average price for a gallon of gas soars above $4.00. Or I could get upset that the delay would throw off my dinner plans. But no, I chose to rejoice. I could rejoice in the fact that I was safe. I was inside of a warm car and not broken down on the side of the road.
Things do not always go according to our plans but it’s up to us how we respond to life’s surprises. We can choose to murmur and complain in these situations or we can look for the silver lining that’s hiding behind that dark cloud.
Rejoice always! It’s a choice.
Deborah Calvert is associate executive director.