... in repeated frustrations

Published on 17 Aug 2019
A man talking to a woman and pointing to a laptop

Today is a day where nothing seems to be going right.

I walked into work to find a stack of emails waiting for me, each of which demanded immediate attention or contained a thorny problem I needed to resolve with little time and a great deal of effort.  I spilled coffee.  A colleague sent the wrong set of materials I needed desperately for a project deadline. My work laptop suddenly decided that it would no longer connect to the internet, and the headset microphone I needed for a virtual meeting today broke too.  And it’s still just morning!

I have been thinking a lot lately about patterns, about liturgy, and about inviting God into ordinary moments.  It occurs to me today in the face of all these interruptions and problems and distractions that my daily frustrations are, at least in this life, going to remain perpetual and consistent.  There will always be something broken, demanding attention, not working properly, or tripping up my preferred routine.  But these frustrations are precisely the moments God uses to invite himself into my life.

When things go smoothly, I fall into the wrong habit of thinking they are going smoothly by my own effort.  I take God for granted; I at times forget his presence.  But every frustration of the day is an opportunity, a pause where God asserts his presence and reminds me gently that I need him to endure, to carry on, and to foster in me the resilience, patience, and flexibility required in order to keep my heart in the right place throughout the day.

In the daily frustrations of an ordinary day, God is present and he reminds me to consider myself, my motivations, and my attitude.  In the broken moments and loose ends, I find him there waiting.