Last week I wrote about the need to have a morning prayer time, and the obstacles that always coincidentally show up just when you want to set aside some prayer time. Ironically, the very next morning I had an unusually stubborn obstacle to overcome.
I got up at 4:30 and was driving to church for a holy hour. My truck was almost out of gas, so I stopped at the gas station to fill it up. I swiped my card, and the machine asked me for my billing zip code, and I blithely typed it in. I am not sure what I typed in, but it started with "28," which is a North Carolina zip code.
I haven't lived in NC for three years.
Of course it rejected my card and locked up the machine for a minute. I used my other card, but still couldn't remember my billing zip code. Time after time I tried, but I could not remember that stupid 5 digit number. Old zip codes from previous apartments? Got it. Old buddy's house from two years ago? Got it. House I live in now?
After five or ten minutes I was getting later and later for the holy hour. I hate being late for holy hour! I was getting more and more grumpy, I was tired, and I thought about just giving up and going back home for a nap before school. After all, I didn't have enough gas to get to church and back home and then to school. It was clearly the fact that I was tired that was causing me to forget my zip-code.
But then I decided not. After all, who needs sleep? So I went into the gas station and paid for gas at the counter. I am not sure why it took me ten minutes to think about that. At any rate, I finally did think about that, I paid for the gas, and got to church, and indeed had a great holy hour, from my point of view.
So, as I said, there are always obstacles. The thing is not to get grumpy or uptight about it, but just accept it with a laugh and trust. In all likelihood it was my grumpiness that kept me from thinking about paying inside, and made me later for holy hour. But live and learn. That also is material to be accepted and surrendered.