I experienced several events over the course of an ordinary Monday that to some might seem entirely unrelated. But for me – with some prayer and intentional focus on God – came together in a way that led me to believe it can not be coincidence, but God at work.
It was a warm spring day, and the weather was perfect. I took advantage of this and walked to a nearby church over my lunch break to walk a labyrinth. A labyrinth is used as a tool for prayer, reflection and meditation – or as the sign says at the church I visited – “meditation for those who cannot sit still.” (Here is a little more information about the labyrinth I’ve used in midtown Omaha.)
On this particular day I prayed very specifically for certain people in my life, and I also prayed that God would help me be aware of the faith moments in my life, and give me continued inspiration to write and to share.
My reflective and inspirational lunch break came to end. I walked back to my office; sat back down at my desk. And the rest of my afternoon at work was terrible. There were some unkind things said about me. I was hurt, I was mad, I was sad. I dwelled on it all afternoon, and I let it control my thoughts, my focus and my attitude. (Apparently not learning the lesson from Learning to LET GO of Anger.)
Next seemingly unrelated story: I picked up the kids after work. As we usually do, my son Judson and I were talking about the day, the little events that happened at his preschool. We talked about what we would have for dinner. I suggested that we would eat leftover spaghetti. With this news, my intelligent and rational 5-year-old burst into tears and sobbed that he wanted pancakes for dinner, not leftover spaghetti. The reaction was so irrational it was laughable!
But I composed myself – and I comforted him and his irrational emotions.
Once at home, in the quiet of my bedroom closet, I was back to thinking about my disappointing work day, the joy from my reflective, prayerful labyrinth walk a distant memory.
Then all of a sudden, God pulled all of these events together for me. I realized that Judson’s irrational, tearful complaint must be exactly what I sound like to God as I’m constantly dwelling on and complaining about what happened at work. The work event I experienced on that day was disappointing, yes, but to the problems of this world and the values of my life, it is as if I have been crying to God about not getting pancakes for dinner.
But God loves, and God listens, and God comforts.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
For me on that day, God answered my labyrinth prayers and provided me comfort on a disappointing work day all through the tearful sobs of my 6-year-old. God is at work in all we do. Sometimes we just need to be willing to stop, listen and watch for God’s presence.