Back in 2012, I used to broadcast on a private radio station on topics such as Theology and Social issues. One afternoon, broadcasting was on my timetable for 6 PM. The radio station was not far from my house, however Jakarta is a very busy city and its traffic is a nightmare. So, I left at 4:45 PM. Usually the trip takes 30 minutes, but that day it seemed like everyone was heading in the same direction as I was. The road was very, very busy, and my bus was stuck.
It was already 5:30 PM, and the bus was still stuck in the traffic. A little bit nervous, I decided to go down and find Ojek (a motorcycle to ride). There was an old man among other motorcycle drivers. I asked him to take me to the radio station. He asked IDR 20,000 for the tariff. I bargained IDR 15,000 and he agreed. My trip on the motorcycle took only 15 minutes. Around 5:45 PM I arrived at the radio station. Feeling happy because I wasn’t late, I gave an extra IDR 5,000 to the driver. He smiled and couldn’t stop saying thanks to me.
Later, I arrived at the broadcast room. My lecturer and my friend, who supposed to do the broadcast with me, were not yet there. I called them, and found out that their car was stuck in the traffic. My lecturer asked if I could do the broadcast on my own, and I said no (I didn’t have that confidence yet). Unable to do anything more, my lecturer decided to cancel the broadcast that afternoon. I went home disappointed. I had struggled to get to the radio station on time for NOTHING.
I sat in the public transportation on my way back home. Anja Lehmann accompanied me with her songs while I thought back about what had happened that afternoon. There was a question that came to my mind “If God knows everything, He knows already that the broadcast will be cancelled. So why he did not warn me? If he did, I would not waste my time and would not spend money for the rides.” I grumbled! Arghhhh …!
Then I remembered the motorcycle rider. My heart suddenly flared up. The old man smiled happily when he got a tip for his services. God reminded me he never stops working, in my life or the lives of others. I might not know who the rider was, what the meaning of his happy smile was when he received a tip from me. I might not know how valuable the money IDR 5,000 was for him. Perhaps that afternoon the Lord wanted to bless his life through a woman passenger who was almost running late for her broadcast. If I had stayed in my house, I wouldn’t have been trapped in the traffic and wouldn’t have met the old man who drove me to the radio station. That day, God chose me to be a channel of His blessing. Instead, I grumbled.
We are often acting like that, aren’t we? Every day we pray “God, use me to be Your instrument to bless people around me.” But when He answers our prayer, we grumble. We forget that when we follow God and commit to be His instrument, there is a price to be paid. Sometimes it costs our time or money. Sometimes we lose energy and sometimes we are required to be more patient.
Stop grumbling! Everything is in God’s control. Living a life for God is discovering and treasuring His blessing in a good and bad time. We should train ourselves to see more beauty in life.
Here are some practical tips for the aftermath of a lousy day:
- 1. Tell yourself “this too shall pass”. On a lousy day, it is hard to think positively. You might need to remind yourself the truth that your bad day is coming to end. Tomorrow is a new day to celebrate.
- 2. Take time to reflect and ask this question to yourself: “What is the lesson God is teaching me today?”. Things happen with God’s intention and for your good. On a bad day, it is difficult to agree with that. Asking this question to yourself will help.
- 3. Be Creative. If you are keeping track your days in a journal like me, put extra colour and illustrations today’s journal. In that way, you help yourself relax. Other thing I usually do is composing a song. You might have different ways to express yourself.
- 4. Pamper yourself. You definitely deserve some pampering after a lousy day. Yes, you are still winning the day by passing through it. Give yourself a thumbs-up or pat on the shoulder. There are many things you can do to pamper yourself. What about a warm bubble bath with your favourite music playing in the background?
- 5. Give thanks. Let’s call it a day by giving things back to God. Tell Him your feelings and give thanks for the lesson you have learned. “God, I know You can use anything to do Your will. Use me to be Your instrument to bless people around me. And grant me a heart that sees Your good work in everything, and even on my lousy day.”