Choosing to be Frazzled

frazzled-300x210I was worried about the meeting that afternoon. I didn’t want anything to go wrong, so I left home early. Halfway there, I pulled into a parking lot, turned off the engine, and bowed my head. “Dear Lord, I need to raise some difficult issues at this meeting. Please help me to frame them in a positive way.” My racing heart slowed as I pictured God’s love surrounding each person. My thoughts came into focus. I opened my eyes, letting the beauty of the day bolster my confidence. All would be well! God was in charge! Besides, I was well prepared. My talking points were neatly arranged…

Oh no! The folder with my papers was not in the car. I’d left it at home on the kitchen table!

I glanced at the clock. There was barely enough time to make it home and back. Should I make a run for it? Or could I trust God’s Spirit to get me through without my papers? His reassurance had seemed strong while I was praying.  Maybe I didn’t really need the papers. Maybe, with God’s help, I could wing it.

God’s peace almost won the day. But then logic took over. I had prepared those papers for good reasons. My whole strategy revolved around using them as props to move the discussion along. Refusing to go back for them would be sheer laziness. Surely God would want me to make the effort.

I started the car and turned homeward. Traffic had thickened during my prayer-stop. Rush hour was beginning. The trip home took longer than expected, and the return journey was even worse. When I finally reached the meeting, I was irritable, flustered, and ten minutes late. “Oh well,” I consoled myself, “At least this miserable experience will soon be over. An hour from now, I’ll be on my way home, with the issues resolved, one way or another.”

That promise proved false. While awaiting my arrival, the other attendees had gotten into a fight. The meeting had to be postponed. Nothing was resolved, and I drove home knowing I’d face the same problems next week, along with new ones from today’s debacle.

I suppose it’s possible that this outcome was part of God’s plan. Maybe He wanted me to arrive late so the fight could bring important issues into the open. I will never know for sure. I only know that I regret throwing away my chance to arrive at the meeting with my mind focused on God’s wisdom. By rushing home to retrieve my papers, I placed my faith in a self-made “security blanket” instead of leaning on His presence.

The next time I have a choice between “winging it” under the Spirit’s guidance, or clutching at my carefully prepared props, I’m going to wing it.


  1. Pamela Harrison says:

    What a good lesson on trusting God! So many times we feel it is best to rely on ourselves, but we are not in charge–God is. We are studying Isaiah in our Bible study group this month and this theme flows through it. Thank you for another reminder, Connie.

  2. Thank you Pam, for your encouragement.