Today’s post is for my friend whose day was derailed by one quick phone call.
I think we have all heard the joke or read the e-mail about the man who comes home and the house is a mess, the kids are still in their pajamas running all over the house, dinner is not even a thought and as he opens his bedroom door he finds his wife still in bed from the morning. When he asks her what she is doing, she calmly puts the Bon Bons down and replies, “You know all those times when you’ve asked me what I do all day long? Well, today, I didn’t do any of it.” We’ve probably forwarded the e-mail to all of our girlfriends with a note that says we wish we had the guts to do that one day.
Well, in my world, it doesn’t take something as drastic as a boycott to derail my day and put the family in a tizzy. Take one of my Mondays for example.
The day started serenely as the morning’s light threatened to invade my bedroom and only the insistent beep of the snooze alarm interrupted my slumber. One more beep of the alarm and my husband stirred beside me.
“What are your plans for the day?” he asked with a husky morning voice.
After considering the list of things needing my urgent attention, I made a decision.
“I have to get to the bottom of the piles on my desk. At this point, everything on it is ‘Urgent.’ I am going to take advantage of the quiet day and attack my desk,” I sleepily determined.
One more beep of the alarm and my feet hit the floor. Oh, the best laid plans. I never went near my desk that day.
I took my girls to school and had every intention of pouring myself a fresh cup of coffee to take with me to that piece of furniture that had once resembled a desk. Now it looked like a paper and file holder. Was that a t-shirt on top of my desk?
Seven feet from my desk and the phone rang. It was my neighbor at our lake house. Dread. That is rarely good. They never call to chat – always to “report.” And report he did. He was calling to tell me the sliding glass door was shattered. He didn’t think anyone broke in but he thought I should know.
I thanked him. Hung up the phone. Dumped my coffee in the sink. Grabbed my purse. I quickly told my husband (who works from the house when he isn’t traveling) that I had to run to the lake house for the day to check on the shattered door. We made plans for him to pick kids up from school and deposit them at all of their afternoon activities.
Mind you, the lake house was not a hop and skip away. It is an hour and half drive. I started calling glass companies when I got in the car – begging them to fix my door. A mile or two down the road, I saw that my fuel was low and stopped at a little country store for gas and a replacement cup of coffee. On second thought, I added a can of tuna, some crackers and a diet Dr. Pepper to my coffee purchase. If I ended up having to stay for any length of time at the lake house, I would need something to eat.
I felt pretty certain that my stay would be a lengthy one because everyone that lives around the lake lives on what we call “lake time.” That means that when they say they will be over “first thing in the morning,” I shouldn’t expect them until well after noon. They choose to live on the lake because they don’t want the hurried life of us city folk. I admire that – except when I want to do business with them.
To my utter amazement and satisfaction, “Joe Dan” said that he could be at my house to replace the glass in about three hours. Wonderful. That would give me some time to relax, fix the broken sprinkler head and still make it back home close to dinnertime. I began to think the day was not a total loss. I had a sense of accomplishment once the sprinkler head was fixed and the glass was replaced. I even snuck in a nap waiting for the glass repairman. On my way home, I enjoyed my drive listening to a favorite classic audio book.
Once back in my hometown, I met up with my husband and children at a restaurant he had taken them to (because that’s how dad’s fix dinner.) After dinner I was looking forward to a quite, calm evening back at the house.
Then my phone rang. It was my sister who lives two hours away telling me my nephew thought he broke his hand and she wanted me to go to the ER with him. Of course I agreed to sit in the ER with my nephew until nearly midnight. Now, the day was completely derailed.
Most of us have days like that at some point. Though the cause of the derailment is different, the results are the same. We end up feeling like we never get anything done, we can’t prioritize, and we are poor managers of our time. When I wake up in the morning and ask the Lord to “order my steps,” in the back of my mind, I think He will certainly make me as productive as possible – according to the world’s standards.
Let me suggest that sometimes the Lord’s ordering of our steps causes us to stop and rest and let the things we deem important and of great urgency fall to the wayside.
Looking back on my day, I see how my time at the lake refreshed me. I was away from the phone. Away from the laundry and the toilets that needed to be scrubbed. Instead, I fed my soul with a good book on the drive, quiet Bible study time to feed my spirit in a favorite spot looking out onto the peaceful lake, and a nap to nourish my body as I languished from the after affects of a cold. Maybe, that day, God ordered my steps in a way that He felt would be the order needed to strengthen me – even if by the world’s standard, it was a total loss.
I thank the Lord that MY train jumped the track that day!
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
Has your day ever been derailed – and good came from it? Are you still looking for the good?