As I looked around me, the snow was falling in gentle, pristinely-perfect flakes; it was breathtaking. I did not, however think to myself, what a beautiful wonderland! I did not think to myself, it looks like I’m in a snow globe! I did not think to myself, what a gorgeous frosting over my world. All I thought to myself was–Crap! I am going to be late! I am going to be late for my first class, I am going to be late for my first meeting, I am going to be late and rushed and hurried and frazzled all day long! (I had also seriously begun to regret drinking that second cup of coffee.)
As stillness fell around me, I was not enamored by the beauty of it all, I was a hot mess in a frigid world seeing my, “day” melt around me. Glancing around in frustration I saw a license plate that read, “Never L8.” Cynically, I thought, “You’ll be late today buddy.” Inching and crawling I felt like I was in some clichè opening to a sitcom. Then, I saw a car in a ditch and then another, and four more after that. And suddenly, perspective crashed in around me like the avalanche of self-pity I had surrounded myself in. So now, being stuck on the road going 8 miles per hour in a line resembling a parade of cars didn’t seem very tragic. Missing a meeting I didn’t want to go to anyway also didn’t seem as big a deal as I’d made it out to be.
Now, I am not so noble as to pretend that I wasn’t still concerned about the time. I am not gracious enough to ignore the fact that the day started out poorly. And I am not naïve enough to think you would believe me if I tried to play it off as everything was fine. I will admit, however, that I did gain enough traction in my mind to keep the wheels from spinning. In that forced moment of, “going-nowhere,” I realized that sometimes we tend to let circumstances seem like a personal attack. But this wasn’t personal, it was just … well … snow!
It’s the same as a flat tire, or finding gum on your shoe, a hole in your shirt or even the dreaded, “check engine” light. It simply is, what it is. And it, is nothing more, or less, than circumstance. A colossal snowstorm did not happen just to throw off my day, no matter how much it may have felt like it.
Ironically, the car in front of me had a license plate that read, “Nu Mrcl.” I felt that it was a small sign, a figurative-flick on the forehead, if you will, reminding me that new miracles can be easily missed. Maybe the miracle was that I wasn’t one of the cars in the ditch. Maybe the new miracle was that I was forced to sit down, sit still, and just be for a while. I have heard it said that we are turning into human doings instead of human beings, and this morning, I was forced to just be.
Really, the frozen, white, wonderful moment of stillness around me was a gift, if I would let it be. So, I shifted my focus and took a second to think about the people in the ditch, to think about the people in the line with real issues, and to pray for someone else’s day. Now, I was still late, and my day was a bit frantic and hurried, but at least I had a nice, long sit to prepare me for the chaos that would ensue. It turns out that there are many times we let a bad start to a good day, turn into an all-encompassing bad day for no reason.
So whether you woke up to a power outage, a mess your pet left you, a car that wouldn’t start, or any other kind of miniature disaster–decide right then and there to get frustrated … and then get over it. You wouldn’t want to miss your own “new miracle,” waiting for permission to brighten your cloud-shrouded day. Let yourself turn back into a human be-ing, just this once.