Whenever I fly, I take work with me. I’m writing this piece on a flight and I have two speaking engagements coming up in five days for which to prepare. The gate attendant told me the flight would not be full, so I was hoping against hope to get a seat beside an empty seat so I could use both trays for my work.
Well, the attendant was right, but I had no seat luck. My husband and I choose mid-plane, aisle seats across from each other and waited for people behind us in the aisle to pass us to choose their spots. Two young women chose the window and middle seats next to me and my husband ended up beside an empty middle seat. The man in the row behind him even ended up alone so he immediately stretched out to almost lie down. To magnify my misery, the gentleman in the seat in front of me reclined his seat as far as it would go, leaving me with even less room. Everyone was sleeping or reading; no one was working except me. No one needed all the room nor the trays but me. Arrrgh!
My atmosphere was being challenged. I needed extra room, my shoulders and wrists were hurting from being cramped into this tight typing position, and others had gotten the seats with the room they didn’t even need. I wanted to cry and was getting a headache. I was frustrated and frankly ticked off. Three and a half prime working hours stretched before me. How was I supposed to think spiritual thoughts and write spiritual things under such conditions?
Once airborne at the proper altitude, I laboriously got my carry-on situated, inserted the earpieces for my iPod® into my ears, and clicked “shuffle” to listen to a variety of my favorite gospel music. As I placed my laptop on my tiny little tray, the song I’ve chosen as my ministry theme song started.
- “Lord, You are extremely, You’re extremely good.
- Lord, You are extremely, You’re extremely good.
- No matter what I’m going through,
- I just cast my cares on You,
- ‘Cause Lord You are extremely, You’re extremely good.”
As the song played, I pulled up the devotion on my computer I hadn’t had time to read that morning. Oswald Chambers wrote, “The main thing about Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain and the atmosphere produced by that relationship. That is all God asks us to look after, and it is the one thing that is being continually assailed.
God’s goodness, casting cares, not the work, but the atmosphere. Hmmm.
Colossians 3:15-16 sprang to mind. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (NKJ). Peace in my heart, thankfulness, and the rich indwelling of the Word are all things that are mine by allowance not bestowal. I have to “let the peace of God rule,” “be thankful,” and “let the word of Christ dwell richly.” God makes these available, but I have to “let” or allow them to be a part of my reality. So I begin to deliberately cast my frustration about my tiny, cramped space onto God’s very ample shoulders. I begin to let God’s peace-atmosphere bubble help me chill out in order to get some of this work done.
I know I’m not alone. Some days nothing goes right, your best laid plans are upset, and you feel frustrated, mistreated, and generally ticked off. Since there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it anyway, begin to worship God for being the peace-giver and then watch as peace takes over. I got this devotion written, didn’t I?
P.S. The iPod® just ran out of juice!
©2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,
Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children
available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),
at bookstores, and on all major online book buying sites.
Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk
Also still available:
Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame
from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)
 Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.