Tight spaces do not bring out the best in me.
Flying to Dallas via San Antonio and then back was an interesting twist of emotions.
First off, on my Seattle to San Antonio leg I got my normal aisle seat. However, I felt like I was one of many sardines squished into a can. It seemed like I couldn’t go anywhere without having my personal space invaded.
The lady in the middle seat seemed to feel she owned both armrests, so I found myself crowded against the aisle to keep from pressing up against her. Then, of course, everyone who went by in the aisle seemed to swipe me as they passed.
To describe the way I felt, uncomfortable would definitely be an understatement, and while I did not show my growing annoyance on the outside, I sure was grumbling in my heart.
Then on my way home, after a whirlwind trip where God showed up every time I turned around, again I was tested. Would I rejoice in EVERYTHING? Even a trying 4 hours in the air where things were not pleasant, comfy, and easy?
This time I had the very last seat on the plane. No seats behind me, only the lavatories. Well, I guess that was not a bad thing, convenient for me if I needed to use them… but the downside of that is there are people bumping me all the way though the flight as they moved to the facilities.
Not to mention the couple in the middle and window seat spilled over into my seat… again.
So again I am reminded that in this life things don’t always go our way. Life isn’t always convenient. And trying times are sure to come. So, what comes out of me when the pressure is on? Do I demand my own way? Allow anger to burst forth? Feel I don’t deserve the disruption to my peace and roll my eyes with disgust?
Not on the outside anyways.
But in my heart I grumble. I say to God,
“Do I really have to put up with this?”
And He lovingly reminds me of the pettiness of my complaint.
After all, He put up with so much more than the uncomfortable inconvenience of a tight place and impolite people. He quietly and lovingly endured being misunderstood, betrayed, beaten and crucified, and He, unlike me, didn’t even deserve it.
So my perspective changes.
I remember that our walk on this earth includes picking up our cross, denying ourselves, and following Jesus.
And I’m thankful for the opportunity to do just that. Pick up the cross of inconvenience and things not going my way. Deny my human reactions to throw an internal hissy fit, and follow Jesus instead.
I can’t say I passed the test.
But I can say I made some progress.
How do you fare in times like this?
How does He speak to you in the midst of it?