There are times that even our most frustrating experiences turn into blessings—if we choose to look at them that way.
I’m a social worker, and I spend a lot of time in my office. When I’m not seeing families, I do reports, phone calls, notes, planning, etc. For months, I was one of the only people in my section, and I had grown used to the quiet. No voices, no noise, and only the few seconds interruption when people passed through from one section to another. Gradually, people began to populate the offices around mine and, as expected, the noise level increased. Worse, none of our offices are properly sound insulated, so…let’s just say that I can hear—through the wall—when the kettle in my neighbour’s office has finished boiling water!
Anyway, there are two child educators who have recently taken up residence next to my office. They see children—young children—who don’t always want to be ‘educated’ in how to develop their language and social skills. And they make it known.
Today was just such a day.
I like kids. They’re cute. I keep my office bright and cheerful with blow-up toys of SpongeBob and Sandy, and posters of Thor and Optimus Prime line the walls (okay, they are really for me, not the kids, but that’s our secret). Usually when kids act up it’s not done to intentionally make those around them miserable. Often, they’re tired, hungry, or just don’t understand where they are or what’s expected of them. But, I admit, when I’m working in my office and need peace and quiet to think, the noise gets to me. Today, it got to me a lot.
I got up and complained to the secretary. I made a written complaint so that the topic could be properly addressed with my boss, in the hopes of finding a long-term solution to resolve the issue.
But, while this was going on, I kept thinking: Why don’t I just put on some music?
I rejected the idea at first because doing so would only be a short-term solution, and I didn’t want to be driven to pop earbuds in my ears every time a child visited the floor. But, after a colleague made the suggestion, I finally did. I ended up playing an old, old CD by Darrell Evans called Let the River Flow.
I used to love this CD. As it played through my earbuds, I remembered times 20 years back when I’d dance to it through my parents’ living room, worshipping, smiling, and just enjoying the presence of my Heavenly Father. That album is all about freedom in Jesus and embracing God as our Father. I remembered the joy I felt while listening to it, and how amazing I felt afterwards.
I sat at my desk, smiling. Remembering. Thinking. Saddened by the fact that, over the years, I don’t dance like that anymore. By the fact that taking time to simply sit and really listen to the lyrics of worship music like I used to isn’t something I do much anymore. Life has become busy, tiring. Rest often means chilling out at home in front of Netflix, rather than holing up in a quiet place with God, communing.
Ha. As I write this, Darrell sings, ‘Light me again with passion for You.’
I pray that, too. For me, and for you.