Weather and Illness Wreck My Schedule and Heal My Soul

http://www.thebuttercompartment.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/tissues.jpgAs a parent and a professional, I am constantly juggling things.  And, as an INTJ, I survive by planning ahead.  And when more things are added to the schedule, the planning intensifies all the more, until practically every minute is properly assigned.

Until things intervene that look at carefully laid out schedules and laugh a hearty laugh.  Things like weather and illness. 

A lot of folks have seen a bunch of both lately.  Much of the US has been pummeled with snow, ice, and all the havoc wreaked by snow and ice, like school closings and commuting nightmares.  Meanwhile, much of the US has also been pummeled by all manner of sickness, with the viruses spreading with each cough and sneeze. 

It's been a brutal last few weeks, and not just because it's harder to jam everything into my schedule given the added headaches of doctor's visits and traveling difficulties or the diminished energy from sinus infections and achy bodies.  For me, the harder adjustment is the uncertainty: not knowing if schools will be closed, not knowing if I need to leave work early to deal with a doctor's appointment, and not knowing if I'll be healthy enough to do my usual morning workout routine. 

I'm sobered by my frustrated state.  I know of people who have it much worse than me.  A neighbor of mine had to deal with the frightening emergency of her daughter's appendix rupturing.  A fellow church congregant has had to navigate multiple buses and icy sidewalks on his usual reverse commute to the suburbs.  And these are but temporary inconveniences: obviously, there are people who have to deal with chronic health-related issues for themselves or someone they're caring for, and there are people whose life situations are such that they are constantly dealing with adverse weather-related complications.  I have it pretty cushy and yet I'm a big ball of irritation and frustration and moodiness and self-centeredness.  

A favorite Bible verse of mine for times like these is Psalm 119:71: "It was good that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes."  I believe in a God who tests us, and whose testing comes from a deep heartfelt desire for us to grow beyond our baser impulses and become holier and more whole each day.  The temporary frustrations of weather-related uncertainties and illness-related setbacks are actually blessings, then, blessings in the form of opportunities for us to shed our selfish and ungrateful ways and move to a deeper place of serenity and gratitude.  Or, at least, as is more often the case with me, at least an opportunity to see where I am still selfish and ungrateful so I can be changed for the better the next time should I choose to respond to affliction by rooting myself more fully in God's statutes. 

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