It was the unmistakable sound of breaking. The bottom of the cup giving way when held up to take a drink. It’s icy contents rushing out eagerly to occupy whatever space they could find. Apparently water and feet can share a common habitat on a carefree Thursday in the middle of the afternoon office hustle.
I laughed as my friend comically narrated her misfortune. I remembered my own separate incident and smiled. Picture frame knocked over as I rushed to pick up the phone. Another unmistakable sound. The shattered glass pieces declared that spot of ground no soft landing for the unfortunate frame. Someone quietly slid a trash can my way – kindness and tact still live among us.
This conversation between friends was long over due and my heart was growing lighter as we went on. I went from venting, to thoughtful reflection to laughter. Continuing proof that I have the best friends. Framed in our conversation, those ill-timed moments of misfortune found life. We noticed with satisfaction that these ruin-your-already-crazy-day moments did not ruin our days. We laughed at other situations when our faces have frowned ridiculous as our hearts sulked classless over missteps. It made me wonder how many times this week I have chosen peace over chaos? Joy over discouragement? A smile over a frown?
Joy and peace are a choice. Whether or not I experience them will always be my choice, I remind my protesting heart before it puts forth excuses that could sway kings. No matter the circumstances I can always choose joy and peace. No real peace exists in the absence of chaos. Nor joy in the absence of the discouraging. How can there be a real smile if there was no equally real opportunity to frown? The presence of a choice authenticates our peace and joy.
So today I am thankful for water spilled and shattered frames. Reminders that no matter our circumstances – trivial annoyance or life tipping reality, we always choose how we respond.