My wife and I planned to be on my way to visit my daughter in San Francisco today. Instead, I am writing this blog from my home office. The reason for this change has to do with the airline cancelling our flight. We were told of this cancellation 9 hours before the time of our departure. Needless to say, this was quite a shock.
My first emotion was numb disbelief which began turning a a very tense anger. I called the agency we had booked the flight with and we called the airline. In each case it was very difficult to not be aggressively angry. Of course, when I made the call, the first encounter was with an automated system. It is very easy to yell at a system. It is not productive or have any effect but it does release a little steam. When I got a hold of a person (with the travel agency the person could barely speak English) I made it a point to be assertive but not rude. My problem was not the fault of the person on the other end and they should not have to put up with my raw emotions. The person on the other end of the line is someone our Lord loves as well.
After all was said and done, I discovered that there was nothing that could be done. Our plans were unwillingly changed.
This is life. Things do not always go according to plan. We will be disappointed, frustrated, hurt, angered, and made to feel helpless. We might think we are in control, but we are not. We can only manage the situations of life that come our way and sometimes that includes a complete change of our plans. This is when our spiritual maturity gets tested by fire. It is when things like this happen that the depth of our inner resources of peace, patience, love, grace and faith matters most.
This morning my wife and I are reorganizing our plans. We will make positive use of this change. In this way we move our disappointment from depression to duty and delight. In this way we embrace the promises of our Lord that He will work this out for good. We accept Jesus offer to cast our cares, our anxieties, our frustrations and hurts on Him. We take time to remember what our Lord faced and have our faith strengthened by His faithfulness.
This seems to be the best way to respond when plans are unwillingly changed.