The other day I left home late for a meeting at my office. That’s not altogether unusual. Often, I try to squeeze too many things into too little time, leaving little margin for error. On that day, error was abundant. Rushing out the door to the garage, I pressed the wrong garage door opener. Arrgh. When your running late, even seconds count. As I backed my car out the garage I heard the annoying warning ding that signaled my convertible roof was open. It was not; but my car has a mind of its own. More precious seconds slip by as I stop the car, put on the emergency brake, and hit the stupid roof-up button until the warning stops. Finally, on my way…for about a mile. That’s when I discovered I left my mobile phone on my desk. Since I conduct most of my business from my mobile phone, I had to turn around to fetch it. We’re way beyond seconds now.
Come on, Gates! I chastised myself out loud. What’s wrong with you? Why do you always put yourself in these situations? Clearly, I was irritated and ready to heap a serving of scorn on myself. I soon as I said it, I realized I’d been speaking scornfully to myself a lot lately. There are days when negative self-speak seems to run rampant. This was one of those days. A course correction was sorely needed.
Thankfully (and I mean that word purposefully here), Ephesians 5:20 came to mind. Can I really thank God for everything? I decided to give it a try: Thanks, God, that I remembered I left my mobile phone at home before I got too much farther. Thank You that I have a car to get me to work…and back to home again. Thank You that I have the health to get out of my car and climb the stairs back to my office. Thanks that I found my phone and didn’t need to go hunting for it. Thanks, God, that I’m on the road again.
As it turned out, I arrived late for the meeting. And I was thankful to be there.
Your thoughts? What are some of your experiences in turning anxiety and negative self-talk into thankfulness?