You ever notice how it doesn't take much for your perspective to change a complete 180 degrees? That happened to me on Saturday.
As I mentioned in the blog on the summer, we were looking forward to our trip to Six Flags and the Mercy Me concert on Saturday. Even though it was 95 in the shade, with a heat index of over 100, we still ventured forth on our trip, part out of enthusiasm for the concert, part masochism, and part adventure.
When we pulled into the parking line at 10:45 (we came from the wrong direction to see the big sign up front), we saw the signs reading "Mercy Me concert postponed." We had been listening to Joy FM the whole trip and had heard nothing about what had happened, so we were a bit confused. I then began calling the radio station, but they were all on voicemail, so I called my sister Steph to see if she could check online to see what was going on. She was at work, so she couldn't help me out, so when I got to the booth, I told the lady that we were mainly just there for the concert, and we needed to figure out what was being done to help people like us out.
She directed us to the drop off area, and I proceeded to guest services with a very angry mood about me. I was upset that we had driven the hour or so to Six Flags and were probably going to have to drive back and I was going to have to explain to the kids that we weren't going to be going today (not a fun job since they were all geared up and don't take disappointment well because of their age). I got to the guest services and the lady was very nice and told me when the makeup date was, that we could upgrade our ticket vouchers (except for Caleb's since it was reading certificate) to Big 6 passes for only $9 apiece. She also told me the concert tickets would be honored on Sep. 5 and that we would also be able to park for both day for one price of $15.
At this point, I took her up on the offer (we had a free ticket at home from another teacher so we all could still come back on the 5th), but I was still disappointed about the concert and a little agitated that I hadn't heard anything about why the concert was postponed.
Boom!!! I was waiting in line for Scooby-Doo with my kids (sans Carrie and Hannah, because the sign said "no infants or lap-riders" although there was a lady carrying an almost 3-year-old who got on right after us, but I digress) I struck up a conversation with a 17 year old who was there for the concert. He told me that he had heard that there had been an accident. Whoa! I was upset and focused on what I was missing out and the band had been in an accident. I then began to use my cell phone for something other than checking email and sports scores and started trying to find out as much as I could. After posting on mobile facebook to pray for the band, one of Carrie's friends posted with the details from the Mercy Me website, which kept timing out when I tried to access it. Anyway, a car made a left hand turn, either in front of them or directly into the side of the bus and 2 people in the car were killed as well as the unborn baby of a 18 or 19 year old in the car. She is the only one from the car still living and she is in critical condition.
Here I was moping about spending an extra $40 and complaining that no one had said anything on the radio about the concert being cancelled, and 3 people had lost their lives. That hit me like a ton of bricks (and then some). Then I realized that we do that a lot in our daily lives, don't we. We complain that it's too hot, even though we have the AC on, not realizing that there are people throughout the cities who don't have even a window unit or fan to survive the heat. We complain that our steak is burnt, even while there are people fighting over pieces of bread. I could go on and on about how we look only at ourselves and forget to look at others, but you get the point.
How do we solve the problem? Look around you. See what you can do to help that person around you. Instead of throwing something out that you can't use, see if someone else can use it. Donate your used clothes to Salvation Army, Goodwill, or maybe a homeless shelter instead of simply trying to have a garage sale. I'm not trying to put myself up on a pedestal by any means...just trying to say that God can use us if we look for ways to be used, both with our gifts and with our possessions.
As far as the accident, take time to go to merycme.org and check out their blog. I believe there are almost 200 posts in response to the accident, and I am sure there are 10 times as many people who want to post, but don't really know what to say. Lift them up in prayer, then lift up those around you in prayer, and ask God for ways to give you a new perspective on life.