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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

speersThe alarm didn’t go off, and my husband was late for work. The kids were battling over who knows what, but I was able to get them out the door in time for the school bus. Getting into the car headed for work, I realized I left my laptop on the kitchen counter. Turning off the car, jerking the keys out of the ignition, I stomped back. Grabbing my mobile office and charging back to the van, I fretted and hoped it wasn’t an indication on how the rest of my day would go.

Backing out of the driveway, I yielded to the garbage truck picking up the trash along our street. Approaching the corner where the stop sign is in full view, I observed that traffic was unusually heavy. While waiting for what seemed like a convoy to pass by, I started to prioritize my workload mentally and within seconds, I was overwhelmed.

Proceeding down the road, I was faced with yet another obstacle: a red light. While waiting, I decided to make two additional stops before going to the office. This would save me travel time later in the day and give me a few more minutes to catch up on paperwork later in the office.

The traffic light turned green, but I had to wait, yielding to oncoming traffic before I could left. The traffic cleared and I made my move on a yellow light to avoid another red light. As I drove down the hill, all I could think about was how simple life would be if there weren’t red lights.

The next traffic light was also red, but within a few seconds, I was able to hit the pedal. Getting into the left lane to turn at the next crossroad, I abruptly stopped because the light was red. Hearing a loud noise and moving my head toward the crunch of metal, an accident had just occurred in the lane I was going to turn into. This fender bender would cause even more delay. My day has been plagued by obstacles, I thought.

My thoughts became verbal. “Lord, why today? There are so many things that I have to do. I’m even going to be late for my first appointment.”

Yes, it was all about me, and selfishness ruled my world. I never considered the people involved in the accident. Glancing in their direction, from a distance they seemed fine. Both parties involved were talking outside their dented vehicles.

The light turned green and I was able to maneuver back into the right lane avoiding the police and tow trucks that were arriving. This detour will cost me 15 minutes, I fumed.

As I grumbled, thinking only about my life and what I wanted, I could feel my stress level rising. Already frustrated, and my the day had just begun!

Approaching my next turn, the signal changed to another red light. Instantly hitting the steering wheel, I began to whine.

Then I saw birds in the distance. I watched 20 gray-feathered pigeons flying in a graceful pattern. Silently and inconspicuously, they soared in the dreary overcast sky. This scene wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, yet my eyes were attracted by their peaceful movement.

I watched as with one swoop, their little bodies perched on the roof of a building. It was a magnificent stone structure, quite historic, with a majestic white steeple that pointed to God’s throne. Immediately, I heard the voice of God, telling me to look around at ordinary things and know that He is in control.

No longer was I in a hurry, because I felt the presence of God sitting next to me in my car. His word in Psalms 46:11 stirred my heart: “Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.” I didn’t want the moment to ever end. My worries disappeared, and I was no longer in a mad dash. God’s heavenly embrace made me realize that I should spiritually prioritize my life. Yes, I had been in a spiritual void, living in a worldly whirlwind! All it took were some crazy birds to bring me back to my senses.

So, how did the rest of my day go? It was a normal stressful day but a smile came to my face because I knew I was blessed beyond measure. Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely; in all your ways be mindful of Him, and He will make straight your paths.”

Bobby Speers is a writer who lives in Hickory and serves as chairperson of St. Aloysius Church’s evangelization commission.