"Do not become upset when difficulty comes your way. Laugh in its face and know that you are in the arms of God." St. Francis de Sales
When's the last time you found yourself laughing at a problem you encountered? Hopefully you didn't answer, "never!" but like me you may have a hard time remembering when it was. Just this week I hit several obstacles that stood in my way of having a peace-filled day and I must admit, my first reaction was not to begin laughing.
And yet, these wise words of St. Francis de Sales haunted my thoughts when as I was driving home and another driver pulled out in front of me and I had to slam on my brakes. In fact, I was talking into my smart phone at the time, asking the computer to send a message to my husband for me, and the message she sent wasn't "Hi honey, I'm on my way home!" it was "Oh for Pete's sake!" recording my reaction to the errant driver. I didn't realize the wrong message was sent, because of course, I was paying attention to driving and not what my supposedly 'smart phone' thought was my message to my husband.
It wasn't until I reached home that he showed me what he received. Boy was I glad I had actually kept my cool for once and blurted something harmless! But at times like those, it's really hard to think about laughing because you're in a possibly dangerous situation.
So I think St. Francis was speaking more of the other countless daily frustrations that block our road to peacefulness each day, a grumpy co-worker, crying baby, dishes sitting in the sink and chores that still have to be finished. Why can't we laugh more when difficulty comes our way? In our effort to get through our day, laughter would be a most welcome way to react to our problems. Worry never helps, nor does anger. While it would have been hard for me to laugh at the errant driver for endangering both our lives, it would be much calmer and peaceful to be able to let go of the startle and anger and give thanks that I still have good reactions and could stop my car in time.
This is definitely something I have to work on and since we're all a work in progress, I take heart that I am in good company! But it is good to remember to pray for that peacefulness throughout the day and to laugh a lot more often while resting in the arms of God!