My eyes pop open. I turn to look at the clock. Immediately, I sit up, heart pounding within me.
Oh, no. No. No no no no no no.
A sense of dread fills me up to the core.
My alarm didn’t go off. I’m supposed to be at work right now!
I fly out of bed, ripping my brush through my hair, splashing cold water on my face, looking haggard. I don’t have time to shower or put on makeup, and I throw on yesterday’s clothes.
“I’m sorry!” I text my boss. “I’m sorry, I’m coming, I’m sorry!”
I grab my purse and my keys, shifting the gears in my car as fast as it’ll let me. I drive like the mad woman I feel I am. The cars in front of me, of course, are going far below the speed limit.
“C’mon,” I mutter, impatiently dancing my fingertips along the steering wheel.
I glance at the clock on my dash. By my estimate, I’ll be at least forty-five minutes late, if not more.
It’s Monday — undoubtedly the worst day of the week. Sleeping through my alarm has proven this fact to be true. I mentally go through all of the tasks I need to complete today. This one mistake has ruined everything. My whole day is shot. Scratch that. My whole week has gone entirely down the drain.
On the half-hour trip to work, I imagine running into the office, frazzled and unkempt. I rub the sleep out of my eyes. I wish I had put on blush, and feel slightly grateful that half of my mascara is still on from last night.
I think of how everything is ruined now. Starting my day and week off on the wrong foot means that everything will seem harder and less thought through. I am hungry from not eating breakfast, and I wish a coffee would appear in my hand.
Suddenly, without warning, I have a new thought: I don’t want to be frazzled. I don’t want to be stressed.
“Your mercies are new every morning,” I speak out loud.
I imagine — in this very moment — starting over again. I imagine that this morning hadn’t happened the way it did. I take six deep breaths. I choose to reset. I choose to inhale God’s brand new mercies.
“Your mercies are new every morning,” I repeat. “Every moment. Even in this moment, and in the next moment after that.”
I arrive at the office forty-five minutes late. My boss is gracious, showing me mercy in a tangible way. I choose God’s mercy when I’m late to work, and when my heart is shattered, and when nothing seems to go my way.
I could choose stress and worry and feeling utterly frazzled.
Or I could breathe and choose mercy.
I’m grateful for what I chose today.