Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Because What Might Look Like An Epic Fail Actually Isn't

This morning was, in pop-culture parlance, an epic fail. It's hailing, sleeting and snowing here. Ice is everywhere. The boys have a snow-cancellation day.

My school district is nearly 50 miles from our home. When my husband checked the district website at 5:30 a.m., my school district had a two-hour delay. I grabbed an extra hour of sleep, then headed outside to chip the ice off the windshield and windows our minivan. I headed north, anxious about arriving on time because traffic was thick and the highways icy.

When I arrived at the school, the parking lot was empty except for a few folks plowing. It turns out the district had canceled school for the day. If I'd checked the website again before driving off, I would have known that.

I can imagine many people might be frustrated, angry at themselves even, at having driven more than two hours round trip through lousy weather for no apparent reason except the failure to double check a website. But after I discovered school was canceled, I wasn't irritated with myself.

On the contrary, I felt a sense of peace. It might sound odd to some, but as I headed home, I imagined Christ sitting beside me. I started to talk with him - pray to him - in my head, asking how best to spend the extra time suddenly afforded to me.

I remembered what the psalmist tells us:

Teach us to count our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Relent, O LORD! How long? Have pity on your servants!
Fill us at daybreak with your love, that all our days we may sing for joy.
Make us glad as many days as you humbled us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.
Show your deeds to your servants, your glory to their children.
May the favor of the Lord our God be ours. Prosper the work of our hands!
Prosper the work of our hands!

Time is God's gift to us and I need to use mine wisely. Today is a beautiful day, yes? My sons and husband are healthy and happy. Our home is safe and heated. (And the boys shoveled the ice off the sidewalk!) And tomorrow, I can head back on the highway to my students so I can teach them a little literature and be blessed in unexpected ways by them.