Stop the World!

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not bediscouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."Joshua 1:9                     

There have been several times that my Mom has told me abouta play that she saw called Stop The World—I  Want To Get Off. It is the story of a circus performernamed Littlechap who is very dissatisfied with his life.

Lately, I’ve felt this way. There have been several daysthese past few weeks that I have found myself yelling “Stop the world, I wantto get off.”

Being a typical student, I was looking forward to winterbreak from about mid November. I had big plans for my time off. I wanted to goup to our property in the mountains. I wanted to get together with family thatwe haven’t seen in several months. I wanted to go the movies. I wanted to gothe rec center. I wanted to have the best two weeks off with my family.

But the best laid plans often fall apart. Just four daysinto my break, I got sick. Really sick. And for the remainder of my “time off”I stayed sick with a horrible headache, persistent nausea, a barking cough, ahigh fever, and pain all over.

In the play, Littlechap decides he can improve his life. He marrieshis boss’s daughter Evie, but finds that he is still unhappy.

Even after Winter Break ended, I was still sick. I missed aweek of school and when I finally felt well enough to go back, I was ecstatic.I wanted to be out and about with fresh air and—most importantly—no cough,headache, or nausea. But when I got back to school, I found myself way behind,completely out of the loop, and very frustrated.

As the play moves on, Littlechap becomes increasinglyrestless. His life begins to unravel and he begins to get involved in somerisky behavior. He then decides that he has been a fool and by the end of theplay he realizes that he had everything he needed to be happy with his family.

The other day, I had had it. I was ready to get off theworld. I had a project due, an endless list of makeup work, a dozen teachers tomeet with, and no patience to get through any of it. Driving to school thatmorning, I was running about ten minutes late and really feeling sorry formyself. I was coming up on an intersection when the light turned yellow. Iadmit, there was a brief second when I considered speeding up to make itthrough, but I decided against it and stopped.

As I waswaiting, a man came walking through the intersection. He was walking with hiscar, one door open with his one hand on the steering wheel and his other handon the open door. He began talking with a pedestrian saying that his car hadrun out of gas.

Arriving at school, I found a parking spot and parked mycar. I got out and started walking in still in a very foul mood. As I gotcloser to the building there was a car parked near the curb. It was a parentwho had dropped their kid off at school, only to then realize they had a flattire.

That afternoon, when I got home I got on the computer tobegin working on my homework. As I booted up the internet, I saw on the MSNhomepage in big red letters, “Breaking News: Earthquake Hits Haiti.”

I realized then, I was the fool. All along, from being sick,to being behind, to being frustrated, I  had everything I needed all along. I was blessed with a wonderful family that stuck with me and helped me getbetter. I had the support of both my parents in going back to school. I haddozens of teachers willing to help me get caught up.  And most importantly, I had a God who loved me and told me Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged,for I, the LORD your God, will be with you wherever you go."

Dear God, Thank you for loving usunconditionally and forgiving us when we make mistakes. We give thanks to youfor all of the blessings you put in our lives. Be with those in Haiti. Watchover those who are in pain or mourning. Help to bring them peace and comfort.In your name we pray. Amen!

Zach Herzog

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