Stewardship: even our thoughts


“It’s all yours, God,” I sing out with the radio as I cruise down the interstate on my way home from work. The day at the office was less than perfect and I am running late. Soaking in this uplifting music is good. “Absolutely … positively,” my mind says as my heart swells with joy while the next verse streams from my car speakers. Then it happens. Traffic slows to a creep. I don’t have extra time for this. I have just enough time to get home, change clothes and shuffle the kids out the door to soccer practice.
My thoughts go negative:  “GREAT! I can’t even believe this! How could THIS possibly be happening to ME … right now?” “It’s all yours, God,” declares the chorus out of the radio again. I barely hear it because my mind has already abandoned that path and has jumped fully into what is going wrong in this moment. Offense moves in swiftly. As my indignation rises, traffic comes to a complete halt. “I wonder if I can just drive over the top of all of them,” my mind seethes. “Don’t THEY know I am on a tight schedule? I have ‘important things’ to do! How far is that next exit anyway? Could I drive on the shoulder until I hit it and then take the back road?” The thoughts bombard out of control. “I must get home …now!”
“It’s all yours, God,” the radio chastens me one more time. “Well, not tonight,” I say out loud. “You (God) are not doing a very good job of getting me where I need to be. This is ridiculous. I am a good person and I do not deserve this!”  And, then I hear them … sirens blaring. I see them, ambulances coming toward me on the side of the interstate where traffic is flowing just fine. I pause. I take a breath. “Everything happens for a reason …” the new song pours out of the speakers.  Still held strongly by my own negative thoughts, I barely hear it. But, hear it I do.
Then I remember once again that the creator of the universe holds me and all that is important to me in the palm of his hand. My thoughts turn and I offer up a prayer for the fellow travelers in the ambulances, whose delay is far more significant than my own. I pray for the families of these travelers, whose lives have just been altered in ways that I cannot even imagine. I offer up a prayer of thanksgiving for my own family, my safety and the delays that kept me from leaving the office early tonight. Finally, I surrender my will and ask God to forgive me for my small, selfish, anxious and misguided thoughts. I ask, as I have so many times before, for divine help in stewarding even my own thoughts.
In another breath my whole being washes with relief and peace. “Everything happens for a reason,” spills through the car speakers just as the traffic in front of me begins to move.
 Sheri Benson, Diocesan Stewardship Commission

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