I woke up the other morning to whack, whack, whack, whack.
It went on and on and on, like a thumping headache.
Enough to give me one.
It was the racket of machinery hammering away on a nearby construction site.
I was ready to take the elevator in my pjs from my 6th floor Manhattan hotel room, walk across the street to the building site, and smack the foreman in the head.
I’m not good in the mornings.
What was he thinking to allow such a disturbance to go on at 7:00am?
My frustration drove me to bury my head under the covers, which did not help at all. In the end, I decided to discover the source of the offending noise. I crawled out of bed, went to the window and raised the corner of the blind.
Sheer beauty in the street below took my breath away.
We had arrived at our hotel minutes before midnight the night before. Tired after a delayed flight, I climbed out the Uber and into a dark rainy street.
Black bags of refuse stood like mountains on the sidewalk. Uneven concrete created puddles from an earlier downpour. Greasy residue made the pavement slick. Even the darkness cannot make city streets pretty. I began to regret our decision to spend time in the city, let alone think about moving here.
Yet, in the morning light the street stood transformed. Tubs of flowering shrubs, lavender, hibiscus, snowball hydrangeas, ivy bushes, trees and ornamental firs lined the sidewalk, up to three or four containers deep. It was a breathtaking sight.
We were in the heart of New York City’s wholesale flower and plant district.
I forgot about the huge pneumatic drill pounding away in the deep gaping hole where a building once stood between it’s towering neighbors across the road.
The delight to my eyes made up for the assault on my ears.
So often, I realize, I fail to look for the beauty in my circumstances, as I listen to what sounds annoying or looks ugly and let it dictate how I feel and what I think.
When I hear my husband say we will know soon what’s happening with his job, I get frustrated and irritated waiting to find out where we will settle down. Instead, I need to focus on good things, like how he always brings me a cup of tea—just like he did that morning—while I’m still in bed.
The din continued. Yet, as I walked out on the street and smelled the perfume from the flowers, it made up for the garbage and the noise.
Isn’t that how we’re meant to live? Isn’t that how the Bible teaches us to live? Give thanks in all circumstances, says 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
But sometimes our circumstances are really ugly. Seeing the beautiful is not easy and not a one-time choice. You have to keep finding a glimpse of light every day.
The next morning when the whacking started again I had to practice my change in attitude all over again.
What helps you make that change in attitude? Share in the comments your place of shelter when life gets ugly.
Join me each week as I share encouraging truths of living fearless