Before my trip to visit Jaime and meet Laurie for our writer's weekend retreat, I'd checked, planned, and booked the best routes I could find for my traveling budget. I love riding Amtrak for my trips for many reasons:
~~I can avoid traffic/driving stress
~~Cheaper than flying
~~Closer to Jaime's than the airport
~~I can write while I ride.
~~The people are much more laid back the flyers
~~I love the scenery
~~It appeals to my nostalgic senses
~~It connects me to America's past
However, for every positive, there are always challenges. This weekend my smooth schedules with Amtrak hit their limit and my train was not one, not two--but ELEVEN hours late. First, I was homesick, then I was anxious, then annoyed, then worried I'd wear out my welcome at Jaime's (never!)--and finally, resigned myself to roll with it.
For every inconvenience, I started looking for blessings. I work in a service profession, so I was surprised by the blessing of being the recipient.
~~I was most worried about arriving to Chicago at 3 a.m. and finding my way to a hotel. Don't forget I live on a dead end dirt road, and I'm the baby of the family who is used to following wherever the leader directs. But I was traveling alone. I was pleasantly assured of my safety when a Chicago policeman escorted me to my taxi.
~~A nice girl from New York split the cab fees with me.
~~The hotel let me check out later than usual because of my travel arrangements.
~~I had a super awesome king sized bed and room service breakfast.
~~The valet and the cabbie on my hotel departure were super nice and helpful to this country girl.
~~My taxi and food was mostly reimbursed.
~~I had one more day to adjust to Day Light Savings Time before I go back to work tomorrow!
~~I have an awesome partner at work who willingly picked up the slack while I made new connections back home.
~~My husband was awesome encouragement through my moments of frustration.
Oh, and the reason for the epic fail on the train delay--avalanches and mudslides.
It reminded me of James 4:
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
And Philippians 4:6-7:
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
How have your plans been interrupted lately?
Take time to stop, and look around for something new...take a new attitude...the Lord willing...