I took the youth group to Six Flags yesterday
(specifically Fiesta Texas)
And this was pretty much my face all day
It was actually one of those perfect theme park days. We arrived pretty close to the park opening. While we were waiting in the van in line to pay for parking, my students played rock, paper, scissors with people in neighboring vehicles. I seriously have the funniest kids.
My group spent all morning riding roller coasters. Since we got there early, there were literally no lines. We sped right through The Poltergeist (twice), The Scream, The Superman, The Gully Washer and The Rattler in two hours. Wheeeew!
Note to self- stop thinking that wooden roller coasters have sentimental value because they are originals of the park. They're awful and you always regret riding them.
Another note to self- You are too old to ride six coasters in two hours.
Then we piled into the van and indulged on turkey sandwiches, fruit, and crack cookies. Seriously, sandwiches never seem so satisfying as they do on a day at Six Flags.
After lunch we meandered over to the water park side and lounged in the lazy river and the wave pool. We did wait in a couple of long lines to ride water slides.... both of which seated four people and both of which I was sure we were going to flip over the tube or fall off the slide completely. They were seriously so much fun though and the water was crazy refreshing.
At about five o' clock, my day changed. Our group decided to leave the water park and make use of our remaining hour there. I was planning to find somewhere to charge my phone and the others were going to squeeze in one more roller coaster. We stopped at the restrooms to change and freshen up.
I had just gotten my bag out of our locker and was scanning Twitter while in the stall. (Everyone does that, right?) Well, I set my beautiful semi-new iPhone on the toilet paper rest and left it there. I realized I didn't have it as soon as I exited the restroom but at that point, it was too late. I check the stall and asked around. Nobody knew where it was.
I talked to security.
I reported it to the lost and found.
(at which point I lost all hope because I sat there and listened to everyone's stories of "lost" phone)
I sent a nice text (from my pastor's phone) saying that I'd be happy to pay a reward if they would turn the phone in.
Now, I was upset. But I was also leading a group of students and they were watching me. Maybe they wouldn't say that my reaction would be an example to them, but I know that my actions are to be representative of Christ at all times. Even when someone steals my iPhone.
So after I had taken all the necessary measures, I sat by the Lost and Found and prayed for the thief. And the time of prayer gave me some perspective. I did explain to my students what had happened but I made an intentional decision to maintain a positive attitude despite it. I couldn't control whether or not someone decided to turn in my phone, but I could control how I responded to it.
If my phone being stolen was the worst thing that happened, then we were okay. Nobody got hurt or sick. Nobody got lost. Some visiting students got to see what it looks like to have fun and still honor Jesus.
And yes of course it is inconvenient to go without a phone. And it's irritating to have to buy a new one out of my hard earned money when someone else just picked mine up for free. However, the phone is just a material possession, as much as I love my social media apps. I can be stressed out about my finances as I'm in the process of moving and setting up new utility accounts and paying deposits. But, my Lord provides all of our needs.
I can honestly say that in the past I might not have reacted this way. However, I have found such freedom when I realized that I cannot control circumstances. Stress, anger, worry- those things solve nothing. Trusting the Lord and obeying His commands- that's how I want my actions to be defined.
31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
17 (Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.