Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Delays and Destinations ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Delays and Destinations ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

Think about how you feel when a flight you were planning to take is delayed for several hours. I wish I could be the calm person with a little game for the restless children, the dispenser of sweetness, patience, and an extra bottle of water or two. And yet, there I am, rushing to the line to ask the unfortunate airline steward who delivers the news of the delay, What about my connecting flight, what about the people coming to pick me up, what about my luggage? How many free vouchers do I get for my pain and suffering?

I want to be gracious and loving and patient all the time and really don't like myself when I lose my cool over delays or injustices, especially small ones. One thing that has helped is to see if I can serve a better purpose than leading a mutinous group of disgruntled travelers. I'm trying to think of myself as a kind of undercover agent discovering my mission, which can be intriguing as well as inspiring.

I've found clues to my mission in the Bible's story about Joseph, who faced a lot of injustice. Sold into slavery as a boy (by his brothers, no less), he was still able to rise to the top position in his master's home. End of story? No. The master's wife falsely accuses him of seducing her, and he gets put into prison. Boy, did this guy ever catch some bad breaks, you may think. Eventually he gets out, though, and becomes an important man to the great Pharaoh. And when he finally meets his brothers again, he tells them not to grieve or be angry with themselves, "... for God did send me before you to preserve life" (Gen. 45:5).

This story shows me that whatever the circumstances, my mission is to help people around me. In the larger issues of life, this is a goal I strive for. But sometimes in smaller incidents, I lose sight of the high ideal. Just how patient am I while stuck in traffic or standing in line for a car registration? …

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