PSA: I didn’t get angry at my train today!
Even though it was super late and totally annoying
Catastrophic failure. That’s the diagnosis about a stranded train holding up the rail line I live on in Sydney this morning.
Catastrophic failure. The driver of this moving train just announced it, as I now head in the opposite direction to our Eternity office, so I can catch an express train back to Sydney’s CBD.
Catastrophic failure. I’m not a mechanic so I’m unsure what that means. Is the train dead? Or did it make a huge error that cost city workers their time and sighs?
Yet as more and more well-groomed people crowded the platform this morning, my first reaction wasn’t rage. Even when I thought of the umbrella I left at home, as the misty rain fell on my increasing lateness to work.
Normally, I get overly riled about delays. More specifically, I tend to blow up quickly when something inconvenient happens. I can actually feel the anger exploding within.
Never mind that people live in poverty, wars continue to claim lives and older people are abused in aged care facilities. For some reason that doesn’t get my blood boiling as much as if I spill porridge or forget my sunglasses upstairs as I’m rushing to get into the car.
Back to the train. One of the reasons I believe in God is that I didn’t chuck an adult tantrum on the platform this morning. As my train continued to not arrive and I stared sullenly at other stranded workers staring sullenly back, I didn’t ignite inside.
Instead, I prayed. I prayed about the guy I just had a coffee with and the stuff we talked about. I took the Bible out of my bag and started to read it. I tried to map out a new route for getting to the Eternity office, while also thinking about some of the amazing yet small things I have seen God doing of late. I used my time calmly and, well, kinda reverently.
I didn’t actually pray for calm or lack of angriness today.
I’m now heading in the right direction. Got the express train back into the city. And, look. I’m going past the train with the catastrophic failure. Instead of seething at it and hoping it feels my sting, I’ve taken my extended journey today to write about my ongoing inner journey to patience.
I didn’t actually pray for calm or lack of angriness today. That’s a good thing because, as I write this and think about how fired up I am not, it’s reminding me of what I’ve been praying for.
Recently, one of the things I’ve been asking God to help me change is how fast I leap to anger about minor frustrations. I’ve been asking to be infused with the peace and composure offered by the one who is in control of everything. The more I grip on to that, the less I waste time acting as if I can control what’s clearly beyond me.
Like the catastrophic failure of an inner-city train.