Tuesday, March 1, 2011

fate as malleable as clay


i look forward to friday lunch breaks. they mean a trip to value village, my favorite neighborhood thrift shop. it's a spacious, beautiful warehouse with rows and rows of darling dresses and pretty retrro furnishings. it's like heaven.

last friday was no exception. at 12:00 sharp, i turned off my computer monitors. i slung my pocketbook over my shoulder and headed for the door, ID badge dangling between my fingers. halfway across the threshold, i remembered something. a work assignment i need to talk to someone about. before lunch. before the mid-afternoon hypnosis set in. but then, a quick conversation led to more work, more conversations. a terrible avalanche at the worst time.


so i spent the next 25 minutes going over a project with one of our managers.

i was frustrated when i left. because i was late. which meant less time shopping, and worse, a hurried, rushed feeling. and no one, i repeat no one, wants to feel rushed while thrifting--an experience to be savored slowly and purposefully. i got in the car and sped away.

then, a few miles before my exit, i saw it.

a row of cars clamoring to merge into one lane. to allow the fire truck to move through. the police cars. the ambulance. right where i would have driven, an accident had just happened.

i sat in the traffic jam for about 20 minutes until i passed the horrible scene. the dilapidated car and torn guardrail.

{in college, as a journalism minor, i was warned against using the word "tragedy" unless i was specifically talking about an event in which the main character has a flaw that causes his own demise, like oedipus. but friday, with the sirens joining in an awful chorus and the sky looming with rain, what i saw can only be described as tragic.)

i received an e-mail forward one time about all the employees who, for some random reason or the other, did not go to work in the twin towers on 9/11. they were all late.

some missed their alarm that morning. one man's son started kindergarten and he was a few minutes late from dropping him off. it was person's turn to bring doughnuts. one man wore a new pair of shoes, developed a blister, then stopped at the drugstore to get a band-aid.

------
in all of those instances, including mine on friday, something caused a delay. which in turn, caused frustration, anxiety and unhappiness. but in the end, that very delay saved our lives.

so i urge you. embrace every situation as a gift. from a God who knows the future. standing behind an elderly woman in line counting her change, as irritating as it might be, is a deliberate standstill. traffic jams, long-winded friends and unexpected changes at work aren't accidental. by opening ourselves up to the idea that everything is working for the good--the beautiful, deliberate good--of those who love Him, things don't seem so inconvienent anymore. 

and being a Christian doesn't mean i'm immune. that could have easily been me on friday, and it wouldn't have meant God loves me any less. but having that relationship means trusting, searching and finding. looking for the meaning behind the simplest of things. for His mercy.


and it always comes, just in the nick of time.

19 comments:

Tina said...

Such a good thought! I love your blog! tinacrane.blogspot.com

mskanorado said...

Oh this post is so true! I have been in similar situations more than once & what a blessing in disguise that set of unexpected circumstances can be! I must say I haven't taken the time to enjoy thrifting {sad I know} but one of these days I'll try it! PS there is a Womens networking group you may be interested in for you etsy shop-Its under promo stuff over at my blog.
PSS I hope you have a very lovely day!

jeanette from everton terrace said...

I remind myself of this all the time. Got lost last week, drove around on dirt roads for almost an hour and was very frustrated. Later, I reminded myself I must have needed some quiet time out in the "wilderness" or I was being kept off the freeway for a reason. I only wish I could have felt that faith and calmness during the lost part :) later was better than never though.

Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

I've had similar experiences before; it's moments like these that teach us to be thankful for even the things that may initially frustrate us. There's a plan for each one of us; we may not know what it is but it's there. Lovely post and really the precise reminder I needed today.

Kristin - Mrs. Glasses said...

Always freaky when that happens. You were meant to liiiiiiive!

charla beth :) said...

this brought tears to my eyes. it is amazing to be reminded that God has His hand on us during every moment of the day. everything is in His timing and of His purpose.

p.s. you have the most beautiful writing ability, your thoughts always fluid and romantic, and you are always able to evoke such strong emotions in your readers. God has blessed you with quite a talent :) thank you for sharing it with the rest of us!

Amanda Moury said...

Wow...isn't that the truth. I'm amazed and inspired by your writing. :)

Shalyn said...

This is my favorite post I have ever read by you. I know I say that all the time, but I mean it everytime! I love that you qualified that those of us who believe in Him and the fact that divine intervention occurs on a regular basis, that doesn't mean we are loved more. We just recognize it as something different- something deliberate, not fate. What a wonderful blessing to have been delayed those few minutes. SO happy you are safe and I hope you have a WONDERFUL day!

Marissa {Petal and Ink} said...

I second Amanda's comment. She took the words right out from under my fingertips. ;]

Jenni Austria Germany said...

i like these thoughts, too. everyone is already saying what i wanted to say though. :) i was happy to see you were the first to enter the giveaway!

is it bad that i am wishing there were a way to let everyone win? haha....i don't like just choosing one!

Thisisme. said...

Thank goodness you were delayed on Friday!! Someone was looking after you that day, and I think we know who He was! It's amazing when you hear these stories, of how people miss death and tragedy sometimes just by minutes. I firmly believe that when your time is up, then it will happen, and nothing can be done to avoid it.

Nicole said...

I love what you said about delays being a "deliberate standstill." I never thought about it that way before! Since I walk 30 minutes to school every morning, I get so frustrated when I'm stuck behind slow-walking people. I'll definitely be remembering what you shared next time! Have a wonderful Tuesday, dear!

Amber Blue Bird said...

its crazy how your perception about an event can change so drastically from one minute to the next. i guess the term everything happens for a reason truly applies here

the southern hostess said...

So beautifully and thoughtfully written. Thanks for this reminder of how big God is.

Tiffany said...

So very true! I think its so amazing when God gives us a big shot of perspective when we need it!

Paula said...

Vintch, I always get to the end of your post and breathe a big sigh - they are always so beautifully written and always tell a story or convey morals and values of some kind. I listed you as one of my favourites here:

http://eggshellblue.blogspot.com/2011/02/seven-things-with-gratitude.html

xx

jeny said...

I think about this every time something delays me. I always think, there was a reason for this. I always love your words.

kate said...

i love this post so much. sometimes we do need to stop and think, "wow, God was really looking out for me on that one." i know i have looked back and seen so many situations where that could have happened. thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. love your blog :)

Cara-Mia said...

I've had this thought before, but have never been able to put it into words as eloquently as you have. I know various stories like this, and it's true. We definitely need to remind ourselves of this.

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