BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

What Do You Do When You Can’t Do Anything?

“This is where you’re supposed to be.”

That was the line I kept repeating to myself yesterday as I sat, stuck in traffic, waiting for a train to pass.

I was a 10-minute drive away from an appointment that was scheduled to start in 12 minutes, so my margin for error was slim — and was slimming by the second. I don’t do well with tardiness.

But what could I do?

Panic, it turns out.

Instead of heeding the well-adjusted suggestion above, I chose to crank up the anxiety, maniacally staring at each passing car, silently screaming for them to pick up the pace.

Not surprisingly, it didn’t work.

In fact, it had the opposite effect. Literally.

As the last few cargo cabins approached from the left, my apprehension began to soften. The end was in sight.

Or was it?

“Wait…are those cars…slowing down?”

Yes. The cars were slowing down. They were slowing down to a stop. Until they were completely blocking both lanes of traffic.

They couldn’t have formed a more perfect barricade:

The final two cars of a seemingly never-ending train.

I don’t know what the practical reasoning was for this shutdown.

Maybe there was something on the tracks, or maybe the conductor needed a lunch break.

But its spiritual interpretation was abundantly clear.

I needed to relax, I needed to slow down and I needed to stop trying to control what I can’t control — because no matter how hard I try, I’ll never be successful.

I was where I was supposed to be. And I’d get to my appointment when I was supposed to get there.

Message received.

*****

This originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.

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