21 December 2021

Attitude of Gratitude

I've been going into the office about once a week, typically a few hours before the official workday begins so I can be back home in time for work to begin. Last week, I was forced to go in a second time, the follwing day, after 70 mph wind gusts took out not only my internet (the whole community, not just me), but also my backup... my phone provider. I couldn't even set up a hot spot and tether the computer to the phone.

I tried driving to a couple of semi-local businesses where free wifi is available, but they were down and out, too. I had no choice but to drive downtown again in reverse rush hour in the hope signal there had not been lost. It took an hour and a half to get there, and I was officially off duty by the time I got there. But there was work that needed to be completed right away.

I finished and headed back home, which took another hour and a half. Three hours of a very busy day spent on commuting. Plus the price of parking. Seems like the last two years have caused me to forget how much time I put into public transportation every workday for more than two and a half decades.

I missed the sunset. But by that time, my attitude had taken a good turnaround. I am thankful for all the sunsets I've been able to capture. And even the ones I couldn't shoot but got to watch.

I was not a happy camper when I first began heading for downtown. I was crying. I couldn't understand why I've never been able to have reliable quality internet. Yet I tried to pray for patience, and I tried to be grateful for the amount of time I am able to successfully work from home.

As I prayed, I realized I was being a spoiled brat. Just a week or so earlier, people in the midwest lost not just their internet, but EVERYTHING. Tornados swept through and devastated entire communities.

Yes, I lost my internet, and yes, it was at an extremely bad time. But I have a home to go back to. And I was able to work from home the entire rest of the week. I realized I should be counting blessings instead of complaining about something that went wrong. At least I was able to finish my work by going downtown. The internet in the office was fine. And I was alone; most of the people who had gone in that day had already gone home.

We've had online bible study every week for months now, and I really look forward to it because I don't get many opportunities to socialize these days. On the way to the office, I prayed my internet would be back up in time for the Zoom class. And that I would be home in time for the class.

I had contacted my internet and phone provider before I headed downtown. The phones were expected to be back in service by 10 p.m., and the internet was expected to be back up by midnight. By the time I headed home at 7, both were working again. I got home in time to set up the computer, then read the night's verses before the call began.

The bible study topic for the night was Chapter 6 of Matthew. A phrase in one verse stood out to me: "your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." Class members shared experiences of prayers being answered. We ran out of Zoom time before I had a chance to speak, but you can darn sure bet I was thinking that entire time about my own prayer that had been answered.

It definitely had been a rough day. But when I chose to focus on blessings instead of the storm and the damage it caused, everything became easier. My attitude improved. I was able to work quickly and accurately. And I was able to be calm in bad traffic.

I was able to spend the evening with Lizard, and we both feel closer to each other and to the Lord. Blessings are always within reach. We just have to open our eyes and our hearts to become more aware of them.

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