Running errands, heading to the store, doctors offices, paying bills, it’s all stuff that is part of this thing we call “adulting,” and for most of us, none of these places are ones where we would say we find joy. These are the times we rush around or grumble about what needs to be done when we would rather be doing something we want to do. So how do we find joy in the mundane?
Today I had to rush to grab a shower, package Etsy orders to ship out, load up the car and head to the eye doctor. Ugh! The eye doctor. Like there is anything joyful about going to a doctor’s office where we are going to have to wait, be made uncomfortable, and pay more money than we care to sign to our name. As I rushed out the door and turned onto the main road, it suddenly occurred to me that traffic wasn’t bad. So, decided to thank the Lord.
As I headed into town, I didn’t encounter one red light. Thank you, Lord, for smooth sailing! I was finding little ways to be filled with joy. Then I arrived at the doctor’s office. The parking lot was filled to the brim. People were parked along the street, and I certainly didn’t feel like walking several blocks in the cold. I might even be late for my appointment. So, I decided to pull into the lot in hopes of finding a parking place.
Then it happened…
Of course, there wasn’t a spot to be found. I was going to quickly spin around and head out of the lot to park on that dreadful street, but there was a large black Cadillac blocking my path. Just as I began to feel my impatience kick into high gear, I locked eyes with the driver. An older lady wearing the cutest baseball cap. She looked startled and was continuing to try to rush and turn her car around while continually looking at me.
I smiled at her, gave her a little wave and whispered, “it’s ok.” The anxiety melted from her sweet face, and she got her car turned around. As I quickly spun myself around, I noticed that she was parking out on the street. Suddenly being late didn’t matter. I wanted to help her. I started to follow her, but she turned down the street and drove off. A parking place in the lot opened up, and I parked the car. But this sweet lady stayed on my mind. She had changed my day. She reminded me that I needed to claim joy in all of the situations of my day. Not just at smooth traffic, but in all things.
I signed in at the doctor’s office and a short time later, in walked this sweet lady. We exchanged smiles and chatted about how she had gone around the block, and when she came back around, found a parking space. She was telling me how nice it was to meet a young person (that comment made me love her instantly! Me, young? Thank you!) It was nice to find someone patient.
I had chosen joy!
This remained with me as I was called back for those eye tests none of us like. But rather than being grumpy or impatient, I chose joy. I chatted with the ladies conducting the tests and watched them smile. I didn’t growl at the resident doctor, or as I like to call residents, almost doctors. Instead, I celebrated the fact that I had two incredibly talented doctors gifted with the knowledge to know how to correct my horrible vision. There was more joy!
The doctor told me that my distance prescription had improved as is common in advanced age. I simply laughed and told him I’d receive that benefit of getting older. Joy!
We headed out to the room where I would select my new eyeglass frames. Wow were they expensive! But I had no reason to complain. We are blessed by wonderful vision insurance at my husband’s company. Talk about joy. And, God has provided my husband a wonderful career with a more than adequate salary to provide for our family and our financial needs. I didn’t have to stress about how I would pay my part of the eyeglasses. I would choose joy as the technician prepared the bill.
She noticed that I was happy and easy-going. She commented that the bill is where people normally get angry. I told her that God blessed me and that the Lord always provides. Today, I chose joy!
No, it’s not always easy to see the joy in our circumstances. No, it’s not always convenient to be patient and live the way Jesus has called us to live. But it always makes a difference in someone’s life. Sometimes we just never know how many people just might see Jesus in us when we chose joy. So the next time you feel rushed, cranky, angry, and tired, why not remind yourself of all that God has done for you and chose joy? You just might change someone’s life.