It seemed like a nightmare.
At least for the driver of the “popemobile,” who – after picking up Pope Francis I from a Brazilian airport – took a wrong turn and drove into a horde of irate protesters instead. The mob conglomerated around the pontiff’s vehicle, like fire ants to a lollypop.
Watching the image – captured on video from a news helicopter and televised around the world – makes one feel claustrophobic. At first, I felt sorry and afraid for Pope Francis (and his driver.) I think that if it would’ve been me in that popemobile, I would’ve probably crawled into a ball, inhaling and exhaling real hard to avoid hyperventilation.
But not Francis.
The Pope’s reaction, as later reported, was to lower his widow and greet those fortunate enough to have been near his vehicle. He greeted, touched and blessed the people around him, even kissed a few children. Talk about making the best of a really bad situation!
This instance made me think of the times when life seems to take a turn for the worse. How do we react? Can we, too, make the best of it, trusting that God is ultimately in control of our lives and circumstances? Do we pump a fist in the air, angry and bitter by our situation? Or do we simply freak out?
Some say that hard times bring out the best or the worst in people. The Bible says that these times actually reveal what one is made of, our character. And though our character might be refined during hardship, it is shaped on a day-to-day basis. How? By taking care of the basics: Bible reading, prayer, fellowship with other believers, worship, regular church attendance.
So, how do we want to react when life takes a wrong turn? My desire is to display faith, trust, a Christ-like attitude. So I guess I better take care of those basic spiritual disciplines!
How about you?