The other morning I was driving to work and decided to stop at Chick-Fil-A. I was having a difficult time with anxiety and had a bad attitude about circumstances at work. Sitting in line, I felt my impatience rise along with my blood pressure.
“Lord, please help me with my attitude. I know what I’m feeling isn’t from you but I can’t seem to get past the annoyance I feel over this relatively minor situation.”
I purchased an iced vanilla coffee as a treat in hopes that it would improve my mood. As I pulled out of the parking lot and onto the highway, I started trying to stir my cup to disperse the vanilla that had settled into the bottom.
And then it happened. Coffee erupted from my cup, spilled down my shirt, and pooled into my lap! Distracted driver alert—lapful of coffee, trying to get the not-so-full cup into the cup holder, grabbing for napkins, staying in my lane—what a mess!
There I was sitting in a puddle of coffee and suddenly I felt so thankful…yes, I said thankful. Thankful that on this particular morning, I was moving into a hotel due to a water line break, thankful that I had clothes in my car to change into, thankful that I was wearing a shirt I didn’t mind throwing away, thankful that I didn’t order hot coffee, thankful that God saw me and answered my prayer for an attitude adjustment so quickly.
That spilled coffee could have derailed me on any other day, but that morning it was just what I needed to push me past my circumstances and into a moment of brevity and clarity. Prior to this moment, my circumstances were dictating my feelings, thoughts, and attitude. I was out of control and on a roller coaster of emotions. This is not how God wants us to live.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7
The gift of a sound mind was granted on the heels of that coffee spill, ruined shirt, and soaked jeans. Somehow, miraculously, instead of being angry, I was renewed and able to see that despite my circumstances, God was watching over me.
God saw me in that moment, He knew I would be going to CFA, He knew what I would order, He knew I would have extra clothes with me on that day, He knew I would be struggling, and He knew that what I needed was to find myself covered in coffee.
It may seem strange, but I felt so seen in that moment. I knew without a doubt that God had used all things—from the water line break to what shirt I chose to wear—for my good. Instead of being upset and even more frustrated, I released the day into God’s hands and enjoyed the feeling of camaraderie with Him in that hilariously perfect moment.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.”
When we ask God to help us with an attitude adjustment, we often think this will come through a change in our circumstances. The truth is that when we need to change our attitude, it isn’t our circumstances that need to change. What we need is to have our minds renewed so we can see God in whatever circumstance we find ourselves.
I pray that you will be brave enough to ask God for help with whatever mindset or attitude you are struggling with. The answer may not be what you expect, but it will be what you need.
May the blessings of spilled coffee and other interruptions spark renewed mindsets and make us grateful that God sees us in every moment.