Last week my husband and I took a trip to Nashville for a few days. It was my birthday present to him for the big 5-0. This trip, besides celebrating his birthday, was meant to be kind of a cathartic one for us. The last time we tried to go away for a few days we had to come back early because my father-in-law went into the hospital and died the next day. Come to think of it, we've never really had much luck with vacations. For years we were on a streak where every time we went on a vacation, someone (usually me) was sick and/or running a high fever or throwing up all over everyone else.
Anyhow, while this trip was not the one we had hoped it would be, it did fall into the "usual" for us. Of course we had some nice moments, and it really was good to be away, but unfortunately the weather had a big impact in a variety of ways on our time in Nashville: torrential rains, ice, snow. Yep, they don't do well with snow and ice in the south.
I know it will sound silly, given the huge amounts of suffering in the world, but one of the biggest disappointments was when we went to the Opry to see Trace Adkins and Trace was sick and didn't show up. Inconsequential, I know. But it was at the end of a long and stressful trip down there and it was to be one of the highlights of the trip.
I've thought a lot about my reaction that night. I know that I have so many things to be grateful for. And I am; believe me. Our sufferings are minute compared to others I know. But at that moment, the moment when the announcer quickly told us that Trace was not going to be there that night, I was...human. I was tired and stressed about a variety of things and I just couldn't believe that this one thing that we had wanted so much was not happening. I didn't rant or rave or yell at anyone. That would have been wrong. But I was upset and tried not to cry because I felt so let down. In that moment, I was upset; upset at God that this one small request wouldn't be granted.
Since then, I've put it all in perspective (although I'm still pretty disappointed). Of course, many people would tell me how foolish it was to feel so upset by something so minor. The problem is, sometimes, at that moment, whatever is happening is important; so much so that we are upset and angry and frustrated. I'm pretty sure we've all been there before. The key is in how we deal with it. Sometimes we might get verbal about the situation. Sometimes we might let it fester way too long (I'm trying not to, really!). It might take time to let it go, but we have to realize that our feelings at that moment were real and do have merit. To push them away as foolish is wrong. We need to acknowledge our feelings, make reparation if we've dealt with them the wrong way, and then move on without feeling guilty for them.
There were a lot of little tidbits I've gleaned from those few days away. Maybe that was part of the point of it. I'm not sure what I was thinking, trying to plan a get-away during Lent. That lesson I will remember. I'm also rethinking our summer vacation plans. Maybe we'll just stay home....