Is it raining where you are? Is it damp, cloudy, maybe a bit chilly? Are you feeling the despair creep in? I find the weather can affect my mood; my mood affects my attitude; my attitude affects my life. I don’t fully appreciate the sunshine until it’s missing.
I am reminded of the funny song Buck Owens and Roy Clark wrote for Hee-Haw:
Gloom, despair, and agony on me
Deep, dark depression, excessive misery
If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all
Gloom, despair, and agony on me.
On a trip to Colorado to attend a Christian conference in August, my attitude was sorely tested.
I had been battling diverticular disease for months, getting no solutions from the doctor’s office, and living in fear of food that might set off extreme pain and “bathroom drama.” I went to the conference looking for and expecting answers, feeling upbeat and positive. Meantime, our entire trip was planned around my restrictive diet of white rice and potatoes. (Grumbling all the way.)
Our first night’s stay was in a hundred-year-old mansion in quaint little Green Mountain Falls. We knew there were lots of stairs (47) from the parking lot up to the house, but there was an unloading area at ground level in the back. We did not know we’d have to drag luggage down fifteen stairs to our lodgings in the “Carriage House.”
The elevation (7800 feet) did a number on us and we were huffing and puffing after every trip to the car. (Up 15, down 47, up 47, down 15.) But we laughed and made the most of it, saying it was getting us in shape for our planned excursion to the top of Pike’s Peak the next day. (We still grumped about it.)
When we returned from breakfast the next morning, the ground level loading area was blocked off by the fire department A construction crew had ruptured a gas line right next to our lodgings, leaving us no access to ground level luggage loading! We slogged up fifteen stairs with two big suitcases and two carry-ons; down 47 outside steps. Whew! I was glad we only had to do that once. And so very thankful the gas leak didn’t cause a fire! (Still we grumbled.)
The conference was wonderful, well worth the trip and more. But the mishaps and boo-boos are, unfortunately, the things we’ll likely remember.
Especially the hail storm. On day 6, our rented car was caught in a horrific hail storm. No one was hurt and no glass was broken, but we spent hours on the cell phone with the rental company, our insurance company and credit card company, making arrangements for payment for the damage. Unforgettable.
Our flight home was scheduled for six a.m. We awoke at 3:00 to find a text saying our flight had been canceled. We went online and booked another flight for 10:00 that morning, but we received no confirmation. At 4:30 we locked the door to our rented apartment and drove off in the dark to turn in our dinged up car. At the Colorado Springs airport, we learned that the 10 a.m. flight was overbooked and we weren’t on it. The next available seats were for 6:30 that evening, more than 12 hours away.
We had no car and no apartment so, after weighing all our options, we decided the most practical thing was to hang out at the airport. We found lots of other disgruntled passengers to moan with, especially when our evening flight was delayed again and again. We finally boarded at 9:30!
It was a crazy trip, full of things gone wrong. So here I am, writing about gloom, despair, and agony!
At the conference, we saw hundreds of people miraculously healed. We learned invaluable lessons about how healing happens. Everyone there received new hope and confidence in God.
It is human nature to focus on the negative, even while miracles happen in the background. Goodness is always there, rather like the sunshine. When you get in an airplane and fly above the clouds, you find the sun is there, shining as always.