by: Rich Vaughan
Years ago, after my father’s death, I was traveling by car from North Carolina to Ohio to be with my mother for a hospital procedure that she had to have done. On the way I stopped for a cup of coffee. No, let me restate that, I stopped for a very large cup of hot steaming coffee to make the 11 ½ hour journey a little easier. About 5-7 miles after getting my cup of coffee I was getting a little frustrated with myself. Every time I took a sip of coffee I would spill a drip or two on myself. Having played sports all my life all I could think about was “I am not this uncoordinated! What is going on?” That is when I discovered at the bottom of the cup a large “crack” all the way across the bottom. At the next exit I found a trash can and threw the cup out. So much for my coffee! About 15 minutes later a pebble was kicked up off of the road by the car in front of me and “dinged” my windshield on the driver’s side. “No big deal” I thought, it’s only a small ding and I’ll get it filled in when I get back home. Of course 3 minutes later that little “nick” started to run across the windshield directly at eye level! It soon became something I would have to look over or under the rest of the trip to Ohio and back to North Carolina!
Are you getting the idea that I was not a happy camper? The good news was that it did not take me long to realize I was “sweating the small stuff” and letting little things get under my skin. I had a pretty day to drive, not much traffic and if you have ever driven North on I-77 from the NC mountains through the Shenandoah Valley, the WVA turnpike and the rolling hills of Ohio, you know you have a wonderful view of God’s beautiful creation. So why was I getting annoyed? Like Peter when he was walking on the water toward Jesus, I had LOST MY FOCUS. I should have known better. I had been a Christian all my life and a pastor for probably about 30 years by this time. I knew that these were minor bumps in the road of life. I knew that Jesus’ grace covered me (and you). I knew Jesus loved me (and you). I knew He had given me (and you) the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort us. And yet I, like all of us tend to do, felt annoyed by life’s little troubles.
What about you today? Are you annoyed? Do you feel bothered by the events going on in our nation? Are you having a day filled with issues that just “annoy the fire out of you”? Learn the lesson I did this day. Take a moment and hum/sing an old hymn. Listen to some Christian music (from Southern Gospel to Contemporary). Notice the day and the Lord’s creation. Be still and listen for God. If you do you just might experience that peace that passes understanding. You might just hear the Lord whisper, “Rich it’s only a leaking coffee cup and a crack in a replaceable windshield- enjoy the day and MY love.” And you just might discover that a bump in the road is actually a blessing in disguise! Amen & Amen.