I am in the process of renewing my passport. Unfortunately, the picture I sent was rejected due to a shadow on my face. I had it taken at an official passport processing facility. My first thought was to demand my money back when I had them retake it. I wasn’t happy about having to drive to their location again and take another picture. I called, explained what happened, and they gave me an early appointment today. My frustration subsided overnight and the woman in the office couldn’t have been nicer.
After my appointment, I walked to my car but my eye caught a bench across the street. I don’t know why but I wanted to go sit on that bench. I crossed the street and sat down. After sitting, I began to tear up. I felt overwhelmed by God’s presence. I looked ahead of me and saw the view in the picture above. Before I took the picture, I watched a hawk circle over the mountains. I soaked in His beauty. I cried out in my heart with praise, asking forgiveness and to find guidance. God and I sat and absorbed the morning. I didn’t stay for a long time, maybe twenty minutes. I’m so glad I sat.
Had I kept my anger, I would have missed this moment with God. I would have demanded my money back because they caused me extra time out of my day to get another picture taken. I would have started my day rather grumpy. The tone of my day all came down to my choice in a relatively unimportant decision. Which college I go to and which house to buy, carry much more weight in our lives than do I respond in frustration or grace. However, our daily lives are impacted by those seemingly insignificant choices. The phrase, “don’t sweat the small stuff,” comes to mind but that devalues my feelings in things that may bother me even if they are small. I’d rather say what Paul says in Romans 12:18,
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
If I can choose a peaceful solution, I will. If I can be at peace with minor setbacks, I will. If I can find peace sitting on a bench watching a hawk fly over the foothills, I will. Choose peace.