One wrong step, one misfortune, can completely unravel a day.
The ruin of my day began by running out of the house quickly to meet some friends who were visiting from out of town, Paul and Lori Vernon. On this particular day, I was not only meeting friends, but also teaching two English classes, and then flying to Singapore. I put my computer into the computer bag and made sure I had the accessories as well. The last thing I did was put the plug into the top of the compartment covered by a Velcro flap. I then grabbed my suitcase and slipped on my converse shoes as I headed out the door.
As I half walked, half ran down the street one of my shoes felt extra tight. I bent down to check out what was wrong and I realized I had put one brown shoe and one green shoe on that morning. I knew this because the green converse are a size smaller than my brown ones. I groaned as I turned to head back to my apartment and change shoes. If I had not been going to Singapore that night, I probably would have kept wearing 2 different shoes and laughed about it with everyone and the coming problem would have been averted.
I double checked in the lobby by asking the security guard what color my shoes were. He chuckled as he told me I had the wrong shoes on. After switching my right shoe, I headed back to the center to catch up with our friends before teaching. I greeted them and then Paul and I went to watch the NCAA tournament on my computer. When I pulled my computer out, I found that my plug was missing. I panicked wondering if somehow the plug had dropped out of the bag as I bent over to check my shoes. If I lean over too far there is a possibility the bag could open and allow something to slide out.
So I decided to retrace my path to the center. Paul agreed to walk with me and be my eyes. We didn’t see the plug lying on the ground as we passed by the place where I discovered I was wearing the wrong shoes. Neither did I find the plug in my apartment. I was flustered.
I went back to the center with a sinking feeling wishing I knew how to find the plug. I didn’t have time to take the hour trip downtown to buy a new plug before the flight. My mind kept wondering to what I would do, distracting me from meaningful conversation with my friends.
Just before lunch would be ready, I convinced Paul to go one more time to look again as I didn’t want to have to tell my wife I had lost the plug and needed to buy one again. (We have bought 3 plugs in the last 2 months for faulty wiring). Maybe it was in my apartment, and we just didn’t see it the first time. Perhaps I didn’t really put it in my bag, or maybe it really did fall out, but where, and why didn’t I hear it hit the ground right next to me as I leaned way down to touch my shoes?
It wasn’t in the room. I couldn’t find it. It was lost. I was devastated.
Crestfallen, Paul and I stepped back into the elevator to go back for lunch. I decided to take a long shot and ask the security guard if he saw anything or heard anyone who found it. He seemed to know what I was talking about and took us over to talk with the apartment manager. He had seen someone walk in with a plug, but he couldn’t remember the exact room number they lived in on the second floor. The apartment manager could read the concern on my face, so she said she would check the people on the second floor and call me later. Paul and I walked back to join the others for lunch.
As I started eating lunch, I held onto a thread of hope that the security guard was right and saw my cord walking through the lobby in the hands of strangers. At lunch, I shared my misery with my wife and the others on our team. Everyone was in disbelief that the cord could have gone missing in such a short space. While we were discussing this, the apartment manager called to say they had my computer cord. Elated, I quickly walked back to our apartment building for the fourth time that day…with the thought that this might not be the right cord hanging over my head. It was the right one.
Thank God for my security guard paying attention to people coming and going. He saw the person who picked up my plug, likely to sell on the black market.
In life, we often take one wrong step that throws our whole day off. We can allow that one mistake to destroy an entire day. Sometimes, that mistake leads to more problems or difficulty and stress.
We all need that security guard keeping an eye out for us. We all need each other to watch our back, or open bag. On the other hand, we can watch our neighbor’s back. When they drop their cord, we can be right there to pick it up and keep a minor mess up from turning into a catastrophe.
The remedy to a bad day can stick with us for the rest of the week. I know I was buzzing on the amazing fact that my plug was gone and found again. I couldn’t believe that the person who found it was going into my apartment or that the security guard was actually watching and noticing everything that was happening at our apartment building that day. God made the little things work together to help me find my cord. He doesn’t do this magically, but uses people to fulfill his workings. We get to play a role as God’s hands and feet in this world as we touch others.
When have you had a similar situation happen in your life, something small undoing a perfectly good day? Second, have you had an opportunity to save some one’s day from ending up in the drain?