I am no longer a resident of Indiana. I have joined the 3 million people living in Utah, officially! I sound happy about this change, which I am, but in that moment my Christian witness was challenged. I arrived later in the morning that I had planned. The parking lot was half full. I was hopeful it would not take long. A streamline process. I had called ahead to ensure I had my proper documents and asked a local I met for advice. Due diligence. I filled out my application, received my number to be processed and had my new picture taken. Then it happened.
My number was called before I left the previous station. The woman helping me asked for my documentation and application. I willing complied after some brief small talk. She looked over the papers and said where is the proof for your last name. What?!? It is all there. I made sure of that. I was prepared after all. I know I am difficult with the hyphenated last name, but really? I didn’t understand. As I had planned to transfer my license with a friend this was unacceptable. I could not get my license without proof of my double last name being changed. Why is it that when we do not get our way frustration sets in? A choice was before me. Do I respond out of my frustration or in an attitude that recognizes the humanity of the person in front of me and the sovereignty of God?
I chose the second option. I thanked the woman for her assistance. Asked one more time if the one document missing would suffice. (It would). Found my friend. Explained I had to leave and come back. He was free to continue the license transfer process. I choose to surrender my selfish thoughts…”why me; I don’t want to drive back to the house; I don’t want to come back another day; where is that paper that I need;” captive to Christ as 2 Corinthians 10:5 instructs us to. As soon as I got back in the car I started thanking God for all the inconveniences I was experiencing. All of the frustrations I was feeling. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I know this may sound odd. But when I am frustrated, disappointed and angry I thank God for the source of the emotion. I focused on the beauty of the day. I opened the moon roof and blasted my favorite music allowing God to work and my mood to elevate.
When I returned to the DMV I was able to go strait through the lines and complete the transfer process. It was on the way home that I began to think about how our attitude dictates our daily experiences. God wants us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, for the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame. (Hebrews 12:2). The minor difficulties of our days are simply opportunities for us to reveal our motives. Are we motivated by ourself? What we wan? How we want it? Or are we willing to serve God in every interaction and though we have through out our days? God is so good he uses what I considered a routine rite of moving passage as a teachable moment.