Words by Brittany Engebretsen
Here we are in a popular, nice restaurant—a whole group of women from our church waiting to go to a women’s conference session this evening. We have all just arrived, thrown our suitcases into our rooms, and headed out to dinner before the first session. Things are great, until the service is slow.
We have a massive table of many ladies, so the service isn’t slow as much as it is just hard to keep up with our extensive group. I am sitting in the middle of the long table—ladies to the left of me, ladies to the right, and a long booth of ladies in front of me.
As dinner progresses and ends, I am observing. To my left, tensions are high. People are ordering their desserts to go and awaiting their checks less-than-patiently. I feel drawn into that feeling, indignantly watching the time, becoming more frustrated as each moment passes. That is when I notice the right side of the table. They seem, well, unaffected by the delay. We are all on the same schedule. We all can see the current time. We all know we are going to be late to the first session.
But from where I’m sitting, I see polar opposite reactions. I tend to be a people pleaser, so this confuses me. Whom do I side with? No, we aren’t truly taking “sides,” but whom do I agree with? What group do I want to be a part of?
Easy answer: I choose joy. Getting places late drives me up a wall as much as the next gal, but it doesn’t matter at this point. We are all going to be late regardless. We all have to wait on our checks. We all have to wait on our desserts. The right side of the table is laughing, joking, and loving on each other—continuing in uninterrupted fellowship because, well, isn’t that what this trip is about? Isn’t this a conference of women seeking fellowship, love, and connection with one another and the Lord? Then why is it that half the table is letting time pass in anxiety and stress, worrying away the precious time God has blessed us with together?
No amount of worrying or frustrated grunts and sighs got anyone out of that restaurant earlier than anyone else. We all left at the same time. One group relaxed, joyful, and loved on. The other group grumpy, annoyed, and flustered.
Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (NKJV).
Don’t allow the enemy to steal your joy and destroy the abundance that could be present in every moment of your life with Christ at the center. The enemy can come in many forms—even stress from being late. Don’t willingly invite the enemy in to take from you what the Lord has freely given—your abundant life filled with his joy.
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