Learning to Pivot
Some days just don't quite work out the way we expected.
This weekend our washing machine broke and the repairman quoted us the price of a new one to fix it.
Yesterday, a waterfall of water came flooding out of one of the canister lights in the downstairs bedroom resulting in most of the day spent without water and meeting with the landlord and emergency plumber.
After two years of talking about wanting avocado trees, we went to the garden store to purchase two (because apparently you have to have two different kinds for pollination reasons) only to come home empty-handed because one of the cashiers was not very nice to us.
Definitely three things we were not expecting to happen.
Unable to control the washing machine break, the flood of water coming from the ceiling, or the not very nice cashier, what I can control is my own attitude.
I can get angry and disappointed, knowing I was not expecting to have to purchase a new washing machine.
And then, after experiencing those natural reactions, I can pivot into thankfulness that our stimulus check just came in and Best Buy is having a sweet sale on the washing machine I want.
I can be worried and frustrated about the possible water damage and the inconvenience of not having access to running water.
And then I can pivot into thankfulness that we have a wonderful landlord who spent most of her day at our house to make sure everything was fixed properly.
(This is also where I can laugh at the irony in the laxative effect shutting off water to the house creates. It's amazing how after warning everyone each toilet only has one flush in it all of a sudden everyone has a sudden urge to poop!)
I can be irritated and not ever want to go back to the garden center because of how wrong I was made to feel.
And then I can pivot my hurt feelings and show grace toward the cashier. I can give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she was having a bad day and what we experienced was a regrettably unguarded moment.
The initial feelings are real and strong and part of the process of becoming the kinds of people God can use to shine His light into the world. Reflecting on those initial reactions gives us a window into our most hidden places...the places we chose to ignore because it's dark, un-Christlike, unacceptable, ugly, not who we want to be.
This process of self-reflection is necessary for our own growth and we must be willing to engage in the reflecting, but we cannot stay there.
We must learn to pivot from our darkness to the light. This can only be done with God's help through practices such as prayer, meditation, scripture reading, silence and solitude. I would also highly recommend a Spiritual Director who can lead you through the process.
We may not be able to control the situations swirling around us or how people treat us, but we can learn to control how and when we pivot.