Let me preface this post by saying that I believe there is a lesson in every life experience and it’s up to us to find and take heed to it. Now let me tell you about my morning…
(cue the soft violin playing in the background)
It started off like a typical Friday. I woke up at 5:25 a.m. and headed to my personal training session. At around 7:17 a.m., I headed back home to get ready for my work day. As I approached our neighborhood, I decided that it would be nice to surprise Melinda with breakfast. I drove past our neighborhood in the direction of Bojangles. I also drove past a police officer that clocked my speed well above the speed limit. The blue lights went off and I saw my perfect driving history go down the drain. In the midst of this unfortunate situation, I didn’t feel fear. Now don’t get me wrong, I was a little startled, but deep down I felt God saying, “Everything is going to be okay.”
Lesson #1- “Everything is going to be okay”
Maybe your situation isn’t about a speeding ticket, but whatever your situation is, the lesson still applies. Everything is going to be okay. Anytime I’m driving, I’m listening to Joel Osteen’s Sirius XM radio station. This morning one of the sermons he delivered, which wasn’t by coincidence, was from Mark 4:35-41 where Jesus and his apostles are traveling by boat when a storm hits. One translation says that the storm was of hurricane proportions. So imagine traveling on a boat with Jesus. He’s resting and you’re chilling. Then a storm surfaces and you’re watching the boat fill with water. How do you react? If you’re like the apostles, you will frantically wake Jesus up and ask, “Jesus, do you not care that we’re about to drown?” And in turn, Jesus will wake up and looks at you like this…
Then He’ll do what we’re all capable of doing which is apply His faith to the situation. He will quiet that storm with His words and then question why we were afraid in the first place. His objective isn’t to make us feel bad, but it’s to show us that we don’t have to be afraid. Even in the worst of storms, we can have peace of mind. We can be confident that the storm will pass and everything is going to be okay.
Lesson #2- “Slow Down”
For several months, Melinda has been telling me to stop speeding and I did not listen. I was always in a rush, bouncing from one place to the next, never stopping to just breathe. And up until today, I didn’t really see a problem with my non-stop working habits. Today I learned that I’m not only speeding in my car, I’m speeding through life. How many of you can relate? If you’re driven and passionate about your success, you may find that it’s hard to stop and smell the roses. You’re probably telling yourself that you’ll stop when you reach your goals, but once you reach those goals, you’ll only set new ones. You, like me, are racing against a clock that God set long before we were born. He set an appointed time for the manifestation of our desires and purpose and only asks that we put our confidence in His plan. You and I have this one day, 24 hours, how will we use it? Will we speed through it with our focus on the future or will we slow down and embrace what the day has in store for us? People always say that our lives are precious and short, but I don’t think we ever let that truly sink in.
Our lives are precious and short
Don’t waste your time obsessing about matters that God has already handled. Don’t live your life like it’s a race, live your life like you’re walking through a park. Be observant, smell the flowers, inhale the fresh air and embrace the beauty of slowing things down. There’s nothing we will miss in doing so.
Lesson #3- “Extend Grace To Yourself”
There’s a quote by Nayyirah Waheed that I love. It is, “Be softer with you. You are a breathing thing. A memory to someone. A home to a life.” What a beautiful reminder, right? The reality is that we’re all going to make mistakes. None of us are perfect. So when you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up, extend grace to yourself. One of the things I love most about God is His forgiving heart. Here I was this morning getting stopped after being told numerous times that I needed to stop speeding. I felt pretty guilty walking into the bedroom, with no breakfast for Melinda by the way, and showing Melinda the ticket I received. I felt even more guilty that my stubbornness would cost us $240! Nevertheless, I had to be accountable for my mistake. And instead of beating myself up, I decided to use this experience as an opportunity to encourage others. Sure, I have consequences to deal with for my actions, I’ll be paying a $240 ticket for goodness sake, but Grace tells me to learn the lesson, forgive myself and move on. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.