“Happiness comes when we stop complaining about the troubles we
have and offer thanks for all the troubles we don’t have.” www.livehappy.com
Recently I went to New York with my son on a high school field trip as a chaperone. It was a wonderful time of taking in the sights, sounds and experiences of New York for the first time right at the holiday season. It was a truly unforgettable experience that I will always cherish as it was an incredible time of meeting new people, sharing new adventures and bonding with my almost 18 year old son!
Well all seemed to be going well on this trip of a lifetime, until we arrived at the airport excited to head home to share Christmas with our families. Imagine our shock and disappointment when we found out that our flight home had been delayed for 24 hours. Quite a dilemma for our group which consisted mostly of teenagers. We were supposed to fly out of New Jersey and I texted my daughter saying “We are stuck in New Jersey for a 24 hour flight delay. Ain’t nobody got time for this!”
As I was trying to keep my sense of humor about the situation, it was still very stressful as we all were very anxious after a wonderful time to just get home safely. I have to say I am very impressed how our little group handled this news overall. After some initial distress and problem solving at the airport, people in our group began to relax realizing that this was a situation that we were powerless over. It was not going to do us any good to fret, or make a scene or sound off to the already stressed out airport staff who had the unfortunate task of being the bearers of bad news.
Well needless to say, we made it home safe the next day and hearing what
the weather was like in Toronto the day before, it was clearly to our advantage
that we had waited it out! In the middle of our time at the airport, we met a
security man who was a great encouragement to me. He was interested to know why we were still at the airport and was eager to help in any way he could saying “I just want you all to have a blessed day and also there is a reason that you all did not get on that plane today, so rest in that! God has a plan!” I felt like that gentleman was like an angel sent to me to assist me in seeing the bigger picture. I needed to be reassured that things do happen for a reason, and as he said to just rest in that!
Many of us are aware of the comical lady on the internet who became famous for her saying “Ain’t Nobody Got Time for This! We laughed at how she was retelling her story for the cameras and not even meaning to be funny, won the hearts of millions with her humorous spin on things! It makes me think of how
many times in life, things happen that are an inconvenience, or are unexpected
for all of us. Many of these events are just little things, minor bumps in the
road that are really small in the grand scheme of things. We can choose to dwell
on them and really let them get us down, complaining all the way or we can
choose to let them go and try to see the humor in things.
I read a quote that stated “ Every time your find some humor in a difficult situation, you win!” This is very true and a great rule to live by. Furthermore when our plans change and we get annoyed, it is very valuable to try to focus on the bigger picture. Just like our flight delay in a terrible ice storm, we can only imagine what larger crisis have we been spared? One of our destinations in New York was visiting the Ground Zero Memorial. It was a very powerful experience for me. I remember reading of powerful stories from 911 survivors after that terrible and dreadful day. Their names were not engraved there because they were the lucky ones. Their stories were very unique however, because they were not survivors in a way we might imagine. They were survivors because they had little things, annoying things, that happened to them that day that delayed them getting to work on time.
One overslept and did not hear an alarm clock. Another had a sick child who had to be attended to. Another told of being stuck in a traffic jam, and feeling so stressed that he or she was late for work. As countless stories of this nature unfolded, these people couldn’t help but feel eternally grateful for these little things because they were able to literally see what they had been spared from. Had these little, annoying things that can so easily get so many of us down not have occurred for them at that exact day and time, they would not in reality be alive today!
After hearing these incredible stories I couldn’t look at these situations and those similar in life the same way. When we are delayed or annoyed or our day is interrupted, there just may be a much bigger plan at work we just can’t see at the time! God does work in strange ways as they say and we never really know how sometimes things that seem so annoying and discouraging at the time, could be God’s intervention to keep us safe and secure or to lead us in another direction.
It is easy to complain about things, but it is so important to keep our perspective and remain positive. In my situation, we were going to get home, it was just going to take us a little longer. We all had loved ones to go home to who were anxiously awaiting our arrival. My thoughts went to people who have no one waiting for them, or families whose loved ones are never coming home due to tragedies that had occurred that year.
It is easy to look at the weather and get discouraged as well. Shoveling is not on my list of favorite things, but it has become a regular activity as of late! Sometimes that is just the way it goes! Forrest Gump said it best when he said “Momma always said that life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get!” It is true we don’t know what we will get, but we can chose to do our best to remain positive with life’s little ups and downs, and develop an attitude of thankfulness and flexibility!
A critical spirit, a cantankerous demeanor or a habit of complaining will not get you anywhere but bring you down. Try to see the lighter side of stressful situations and ponder the possibility that just maybe there is something bigger here we can’t see, or an important lesson we will understand better in time!
So try not to complain when the disappointments come as hard as that may be. It will only make an already discouraging scenario worse and as you know, ain’t nobody got time for that!
Philippians 2:14 : Do all things without grumbling or disputing.
Little Lesson Learned: Don’t sweat the small stuff, but instead look at this as an opportunity to grow and learn something new if your eyes are open to it!
Until next time,
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