This morning, I did something that I don’t usually do: I went to a fast-food drive-thru on the way to work to get a breakfast biscuit. Now, I like a good biscuit as much as anyone. But I know they’re not good for me, so I tend to reserve them for special occasions (like Fridays, birthdays, and other days that end in “y”). Even when I’m allowing myself one of these indulgent treats, however, I still like to get my day started quickly. And so, I tend to rely on fast-food establishments actually providing “fast” food…and that’s where my teachable moment began.
For reasons that I hope were unintended, this particular fast-food establishment (which shall remain nameless to protect the not-so-innocent) had only two employees on duty: one cooking the food, and the other running both the drive-thru and the counter. That was it. No other cooks. Nobody prepping orders to get them to the customers. And as a result, both lines were significantly backed up, and the whole visit took about four times longer than I had expected it would. Needless to say…I was “miffed.”
When I arrived in the office, I wolfed down my biscuit (probably because I felt like I needed to make up for lost time). And then I turned my attention to these words, which happen to kick-off the reading from the psalms (Psalm 105) in today’s Daily Office:
Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always. (emphasis added)
Of course, the psalm then goes on to recount the “wonderful acts” of the Lord. And in so doing, it reminds me that we always have a choice about where we’re going to focus our attention. We can dwell upon the frustrations and pains that threaten to inconvenience or harm us — with the result that we’ll probably find ourselves feeling bitter or anxious and will spend our day nursing our grievances. Or we can “look to the Lord” and “seek His face always” — with the result that we’ll see any frustrations and pains we might encounter in the broader context of His strength and His faithfulness and will spend our day celebrating the assurance that nothing can separate us from His love.
Of course, I’m a pastor. I should know this. And I do know this. But as I’ve heard it said, sometimes the longest journey is the trip that truth has to take while moving from our head to our heart.
May that journey prove to be remarkably short for you today. And may all of us look to the Lord and seek His face always, discovering in the process that He is more than able to handle any minor inconvenience — and any major challenge — that might come our way.