"Hello, this is Courtney with Empirica, and I was just calling to follow up on your pre-employment screens. The clinic says you didn't show up."
"Well, see what happened was…"
It doesn't matter what the explanation follows, I've already made up my mind; this dude has wasted my precious time and added just one more headache to my busy, unpredictable schedule. A simple phone call could have saved time, money, some of my valuable brain cells, and eased the ulcer I'm fairly certain is forming somewhere within my gastrointestinal section (Yeah, I passed biology by the grace of God and my professors). I'm exhausted, stressed, overwhelmed, and now this individual who I don't have to physically face has become, in my eyes, the biggest moron ever to walk the earth.
Amidst this conversation, someone walks in the door (obviously a solicitor), the other line rings, two e-mails pop up, and my mortal enemy, tears, begin to threaten to reveal stress and irritation. In an attempt to remain professional, I try to work up a smile for the visitor, the tremble out of my voice as I ask the caller to hold, and take a deep breath.
Stupid, stupid, stupid…I hate this, I hate this, I hate this…
At this point, everyone is dumb, including myself. I suck at this job, I suck at life, I don't know why I'm here, I don't know God wants me in this dumb situation when He's made me good at other things and given me a passion for other work, why didn't He make me better at handling stress, and why, oh, why, did He allow some people to be so stupid!
Then His words come to me, not words I expect, but words that help none-the-less; "God created man in His own image…he knit them together in their mother's wombs…they are fearfully and wonderfully made…" (Genesis 1:27, Psalm 139:14).
I'm humbled and calmed somewhat. The guy on the phone, smart or not, the solicitor, intrusive or not, and I, useless or not, were made in the image of God, knit by His hands in the wombs of our mothers, valued by the Creator. Each of us has a story and a soul that God has crafted in loving sovereignty, each of us has stressful days, and moments in which we kick ourselves for dumb moments. We all, desperately need grace.
This reminder doesn't completely pull back the tears, it doesn't make me love the situation in the short or long term, but it does help me relax, help me be a bit more gentle, reorganize my thoughts. I'm so thankful God doesn't leave me in my own frustrations without reminding me that He's there, reminding me of what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, worthy of praise…(Phil 4:8). Truth can change one's attitude, truth applied by the Spirit, Who's help I am so grateful for. I'm quite sure I'll need more reminders along the way, and a lot of grace, but I'm thankful for the reminder I got today.
This experience reminded me of the song below by John Foreman. It didn't relate as well as I would have liked, but it is about viewing others properly, maybe more graciously, so I still decided to share it.