Friday, August 15, 2008

Praise God

MommaLlama and I have tried to make a habit of praising God in the midst of our troubles. No matter what the setback, to recognize it as temporary, and to find some reason to praise God for the experience. If there is a squeeze on the budget, or an unforeseen delay in our travels, or an unexpected visitor, or even a grumpy little boy, we first say "Praise God." There is always something to be learned from these experiences, if only a reminder of our utter reliance on God's mercy.

But, sometimes that silver lining can be hard to find. For example, what possible good can come of a flat tire, 20 minutes before mass begins? Well, let me count the blessings:

-It happened while I was there, instead of while MommaLlama was out running errands with the boys and our niece earlier today.

-The weather was decent, instead of the rain we started with today. Kind of cool and breezy. And it happened to be on the shady side of the car.

-We noticed the nail and heard the slow air leak in the daylight, instead of coming out to a flat tire after mass, in the dark, with three sleepy kids on our hands.

-We got there early, so I had enough time to get it done and wash my hands, and only missed the first two readings of the mass on this holy day of obligation.

-I actually had a little bit of fun because I did it so well and so quickly. The spare tire is pretty tricky to remove on her SUV, and the first time I did this exercise it took well over an hour to figure everything out. I think I've got this little process down pat.

-I have such an appreciation for the rubber mat we installed in the cargo area. Filthy tire will not dirty any upholstery. It has come in handy many times now, and it always makes me feel super smart when it's needed.

-I got up close and personal with the tires and realized that it's probably about time to replace them. Did the old "penny test" to check the tread depth, and apparently it's time. Not that I'm real excited about spending $500-600 for new tires... but perhaps our guardian angels want new ones on before bad weather sets in and she loses traction on the road in the middle of nowhere? See, it's a bit of a stretch sometimes. But praise God for whatever he may have been saving us from.

-Hey, it's still cheaper than hurricane damage! (Sorry, Turk and Olive...)

-I did not utter one bad word. Honest! I just sent the family into church and set about my task without wasting any time being irritated or angry. So I'm glad I was put to the test and demonstrated a certain level of patience.

What else can we be thankful for today?

-I still have a job, and can expect to for the foreseeable future. They consolidated many offices in my company (over half of the claims staff will have to either relocate or lose their jobs). I'm in the main office of the most successful division in our business unit, so while there will be some pressure to perform and grow our book, at least I will have this job in this town for as long as I need it.

-Our favorite priest said a great homily today (sorry, Matilda! - I heard who you got last night...) I admit to being a little flustered when we realized that we had forgotten about the holy day and needed to change our plans and get to mass. But everything was great, and I'm so glad we went. Even the music was perfect, and reminded us of Fr. Bob and his devotion to Our Lady.

-Cheap gas. Well, "cheap" isn't quite accurate, but less expensive for sure. We got a tank of gas AND a six-pack for less than $100!!! Okay, it's wasn't a totally empty tank to start with, but hey, we're excited. And I suspect it will continue to improve. Maybe never below $3 again, but close to it.

Okay, faithful reader(s), what challenges are you praising God for today?

1 comment:

La Familia said...

I think it's great that y'all can praise God as soon as disaster strikes. It has become easier for me to look back and see God's blessings in things and reaction time between the incident and praising His name has narrowed significantly. I think praising His name as soon as an incident occurs is an important habit to be cultivated. If we sit around and wait for good feelings to come before we praise, then God would never be praised as often as He should. So you've given me much to think about in cultivating this habit. And I have to say, I still refer to your story about the camping trip when looking for God's blessings in things.