to set the stage i should say... it was not the best of days. And i do not always handle such days with the grace that i would like.

i had left work early, on my first day back from vacation. the dog has been sick and made a mess that i did not have time to clean up. i got locked out of the house. i did not have directions to the place i was going and (being unable to enter my home) had to drive to my parents. all of this so i could go on an hour-long drive to visit an oral surgeon because the tumor he removed is back for the fifth time (or is it the 6th? i've lost count). anyway, not the best of days and i was not in the best of moods.

so finally i was on the interstate. as i merged off the entrance ramp into the flow of traffic i was reminded of a head-on collision that recently made the front of our local paper. neither driver lived. a young college student and a mother of three had each gone for a drive and never came home. i was suddenly acutely aware of the traffic around me. of the unpredictability of life.

i started to wonder what would happen if i never made it back from my drive. would mg be okay? what if 10 days of marriage was all we got? i felt an urgent need to call him and tell him how much i love him. just in case. to tell him it would be okay if i was gone. that god was in control. and that i trust him [god] and his plan for our life.

i started thinking about my day. the day that had not gone at all according to my plan. i realized that it was a beautiful fall day. the sun was shining. the wind was carrying leaves in graceful swirls around my vehicle. here i was, consumed with anxiousness and anger at the situation. i totally missed the fact that i had an hour with nothing to do but delight in the beauty around me. the fields ready for harvest, the burning bushes with their brilliant crimson foliage. i had been given an incredible gift.

and it was about that time that i had an epiphany.

there i was driving along 74, praising and thanking god for the beauty of his creation, for the unexpected gift of the solitary drive. when i realized i would never have had this time, this conversation with god, if it weren't for that tumor. and i found myself, in all sincerity, thanking god for the tumor. you see, i realized that if the only reason this has recurred over... and over... and over again was that i would have this drive and this conversation with god well, that in and of itself made it all worth it. and in some small way i now understand how people who have been through great suffering can not just survive it, not just praise god in spite of it, but actually thank him for it. it takes a different perspective, to see suffering as a gift. it is definitely not an attitude i come by naturally, but i hope god continues to grow it in me.


Margaret said...

That's an encouragement perspective to maintain. Thank you sharing, also, I hope all goes well with the oral surgeon and I'm sorry it's back. :(

Marla said...

I'm also sorry that it's back. Hope things went well at the surgeon. If you need anything give me a call. Also you need to stop by and visit sometime.