I’ve been in Dallas yesterday and today – and returned late this afternoon. It was a really great trip. I had wonderful meetings with my contact there – the hotel room was terrific, I slept like a baby and in addition to everything else, I was upgraded both ways to first class on American Airlines. To top it off, the weather was terrific the whole time I was in Dallas, and everything was on time. Nothing short of a positive experience all the way around.
Then, I returned to pick up my car at valet parking here in Indianapolis and as I pulled away, I noticed my clergy credentials lying on the front seat of the car. I never leave them there, so I opened the glove box and sure enough, someone had rifled through my things. I couldn’t confirm that anything was missing, but nonetheless, I felt a little angry that somebody had been through my personal articles as well as my pastoral id’s.
I stopped the car and went back to notify the manager of the facility that something was amiss. The people in the garage were very accommodating but there was nothing specific that they could do other than determine who had parked my car. Through that investigation, I am told that they have released the person from employment at the facility. Apparently, it wasn’t the first time they had suspicions about the honesty of the individual.
Not to be deterred, I headed to Kristin’s new home and brought in dinner for Jill and several of the boys while Janet and Kristin attended a dinner that has been planned for some time. We had a good dinner and then I headed out to the garage to change a few light bulbs that were out around the perimeter of the house. The last one I went to replace was the one in the fixture over the middle of the garage door.
I reached up, started to unscrew the bulb from inside the fixture and suddenly felt an odd sensation. It was the familiar, but very painful, swarming of wasps on my hand. Sure enough, there was a nest in the light fixture and my hand was covered with angry wasps. I pulled my hand out, while one of the pesky insects was stinging my index finger. It hurt like, well, you know what it hurt like….
Now I am allergic to stings and within a few seconds, after I had shaken the wasps off my hand, my knuckles and fingers started to swell. Oddly, I kind of took it in stride. I got a broom, knocked the rest of the nest to the ground and finished off the rest of the wasps. I then changed the light bulb…..I was determined to finish the job.
Now as I sit here typing, my right index finger is a little stiff. I take allergy meds anyway, and I used some topical benedryl, so I hope things will be better in the morning, but usually when this happens, my skin gets warm and red; and it is days before the swelling goes down. At least it doesn’t affect my breathing or anything that severe.
The point of all this is that I am not going to let the incident at the airport garage or the attack of the mad wasps dampen my spirits tonight. It’s wonderful to be home, and life is good. Kristin has made her move, Jill’s still here, I get to spend time with a dear friend tomorrow and for the most part, all is right with the world. In other words, I am not going to let these distractions negatively impact my peace. It just isn’t going to happen today.
The verse tonight is one one of my favorite subjects – God’s peace. What a gift it is. From 2 Th. 3:16, we are told, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” That’s a simple verse, but so powerful if you think about all it embodies – that God himself will provide you with peace – at ALL times and in EVERY way – while He is with you……
It doesn’t get any better than that. My encouragement this evening is to let you know that God desires for you to have peace – the kind of peace that only comes from having a personal relationship with Him. My prayer is that you can set aside the inconveniences of life and the challenges that we all face in order to accept God’s peace in your life – at all times and in every way…. By the way, as I say every night, grace and peace…..