Something Struck Me Today…
Actually three things.
This morning as I was driving down a dusty, bumpy, gravel-covered road up into the foothills for a hike with some friends from church, a motorcyclist driving like a bat out of Hades pulled around me and deliberately fish-tailed, pummeling my car with gravel and dust so I could barely see. It sounded like a spray of bullets on my car. When the dust and gravel settled, I could see that one of the rocks had struck my windshield and left a pit in the glass. I was livid. He had sped ahead, and there was no way to catch up with him and demand his insurance information. I would have to deal with it myself.
When I arrived at the trailhead and met my hiking buddies, I began to rant about how ticked off I was that this guy would do this to my car deliberately – it’s just not right! My friend said matter-of-factly, “Yeah, but you’ve got to let that go. There’s nothing you can do about it.” What? Let it go? The guy was dead wrong. He needs to be punished – maybe by watching reruns of Fantasy Island or The Loveboat or eating a can of Spam. How can I just let it go? I mentally reviewed my options: keep rehearsing that fateful moment the guy sprayed me with gravel and how much I may have to pay to get my windshield fixed; leave and try to find the guy or report him to the authorities; or let it go and enjoy a hike through God’s amazing creation with my friends. I decided my friend was right. There was nothing I could really do at that point. It struck me that I didn’t want to give that frikkin’ gravel-spraying guy any more power over my day. I let it go and started up the hill toward our waterfall destination.
I began to think about how many times I give circumstances and people the power to ruin my moment, my day, my week…. How many times do I sabotage my peace of mind because I’m unwilling to let it go? I think temperament plays a part in it. I want justice to prevail. I want to find out the right thing to do and then do it. I want to fix things…NOW! The serenity prayer says, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…” I rob myself of peace, of joy, of the sacrament of the present moment, when I obsess over something I cannot change. Or at least something I cannot change right now. It struck me that I have a choice. I have some control over how I respond to what happens to me. I choose to be more intentional about letting go of things that I cannot change.
I'm thankful for my three strikes today. They all turned out for the best.