So a couple of weeks ago (yes, I know I need to contribute to this site more often) I had one of those days… you know the ones I’m talking about. The ones where everything is just out of reach, where nothing seems to go right. The ones that later you will find laughter in but while in the moment, well, it’s just not that funny.
These seem to happen to me quite a bit. I’m one of those unlucky, unfortunate souls who come to expect days like this because they become commonplace. Murphy’s Law applies, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”
As an aside, Murphy’s Law was first referenced in a report by Alfred Holt at an engineering society meeting in 1877. Not yet referenced as Murphy’s Law, he stated “It is found that anything that can go wrong at sea generally does go wrong sooner or later…”
Back to my story…
Cooler weather has moved back in and on this particular day it was accompanied by rain. In response to the change, I found myself needing an umbrella. Well, since the contents of my bedroom have been packed up in boxes and plastic tubs for a month now (while I await the arrival of new furniture), nothing is easy to get to in my second bedroom. It’s bursting practically out into the hallway because it’s so full… you have to move this box there, and that book right here and work yourself slowly through the maze of stuff piled up in a jumbled mess to get to pretty much anything. Any skills for gymnastics would have proved helpful. Anyway, the whereabouts of the umbrella – unknown. So second option: a light, water-resistant jacket to wear outside on my way to work. Level of difficulty for acquisition – quite high, literally…
So realizing it would take me an extra 15 minutes to climb and dig through the chaos on a morning when I was already running behind schedule… I grabbed the first, semi-water resistant coat I was able to wrangle away from the mountain of stuff. And let me just tell you, when I say “coat,” I mean it was a coat… a heavy, quilted, fleece-lined, hooded coat. Way more insulated then I needed on this cooler, but not cold, fall morning.
So I go through the day with much too heavy outerwear in which everyone looks at me with a tone that says, “she’s nuts,” and then questions if I’m freezing.
The work day goes relatively smoothly but I had to work late that night for a special program that I had played an integral part in setting up. The rain had stopped by the time I had to leave my workplace and travel to the location of the program so I left my heavy, winter coat in the car thinking I didn’t want any more people thinking I was strange or sick or simply crazy.
The program also went rather well but just as it was over after I had finished cleaning and packing up, I headed out the door and whoosh! A downpour, a monsoon. It was dark, the weather had turned colder, and the rain soaked me from head to toe as I splashed through puddles ankle deep and the faucet up above seemed to be exploding all about me. The umbrella would have proved useful, heck, the heavy winter coat I would have taken at this point. I was a freezing, wet rat by the time I reached my car.
The drive home was terrible. Traveling about 25 mph in a storm that prevents you from having any visibility of the road adds quite a bit of time to a commute. I got home way later than expected.
But that’s alright, I’m good. It gave my car time to heat well and allowed some of the extra water in my clothes to soak into the upholstery of my seat making my car seat very damp. Fun!
Anyway, I’m thinking it will be fine. I’ll get home, change into some warm clothes, chill for a bit to wind down from a busy day and enjoy a tranquil few moments until I drift off to sleep. Think again…
When I finally reached the street my neighborhood is located on I notice darkness. No street lights or traffic lights. No lights inside any of the homes I passed. The hope of having any finality to my evening was shrinking. I finally pull into my driveway, and yes, my house is dark too. I go inside and am greeted not only to darkness but my security alarm screaming at me. Apparently it had gotten the memo that the power was out and it wasn’t happy either. I stumbled around trying to find a flashlight. The first I found had batteries on the brink of death and was only providing a modicum of light and the other I found was simply broken and wasn’t going to provide any if it could help it. Stubborness, gotta hate it.
I tried to find some batteries with the flickering light available but to no avail. So then I thought to myself that I needed to hurry and find everything I needed before I lose the light altogether. I returned to the mountainous second bedroom I had encountered earlier in my day, this time to try and find some suitable, dry clothing. Having had such a hard time in daylight, imagine trying to find anything in that cluttered mess in the dark. Also keep in mind that I was continuously bothered by the eardrum-shattering noise of the alarm. There is a way to turn that thing off, I thought to myself, however the manual was also tucked somewhere deep into the abyss of the second bedroom and even if it had not been, well, I wouldn’t have been able to read it anyhow since I wasn’t born with night vision superpowers. I thought of the possibility for candles and like the previously needed items, they too were lost in the dark corners of the second bedroom.
I was beginning to feel as though I should just give up, sit down on my couch in the quiet, dark solitude of the night and just call it a day. I seemingly had perfectly timed the furniture purchase at this specific time as to make my life even more difficult. Just my luck. I was in a predicament. I was frustrated.
But I persevered. I started climbing over stuff, tripping over my crazy cats who also seemed extremely annoyed by both the darkness and the noise. And then I started, must make a mental note to myself, BUY BATTERIES (and potentially more flashlights).
The evening finished out alright. After my comedy of errors throughout the entire day, I did manage to get warm, get dry, turn off the overly enthusiastic alarm, and, after a couple of hours, the power company had restored the electricity.
The day was a bust in a few ways, but it made me think. To have so many things go wrong means simply that I have so many things. Let me repeat, to have Murphy’s Law play a part in my life on any particular day means that I have something for Murphy to screw up to begin with.
I should be thankful that I even have stuff that can go wrong. For instance, despite my overly eager display of enthusiasm to invite an early winter, I should be thankful I even had a coat. There are many in this world who struggle their entire lives through all types of weather without the proper gear they need.
Fighting through my pile of mess in the other bedroom should not cause me frustration, instead it should make me glad. Glad that I have belongings, glad that I can afford the opportunity for new furniture which, for a brief time, makes my life a little inconvenient. The furniture on its way is such a luxury. I should be happy and appreciative for the ability to invest in something so nice.
In a time of drought, I should be filled with joy as raindrops fall from the sky. No matter how big or small, or how slow or fast they fall. No matter how annoying it is to be soaked through and through. It is rain, it will refresh the earth and it should refresh my spirits.
When it does rain, or I’m cold, or hot, I have a closet and drawers full of optional clothing. Sweaters and jeans, shorts and t-shirts, businesswear, sportswear, dresses and skirts, flannel pajama bottoms (my favorite), and with all that, I have shoes to match each clothing situation. Wow, I’m simply blessed!
As annoying as it can be from time to time, I should appreciate the ability and option to keep myself and my home safe with an alarm that will contact help for me in times of trouble.
And I never realize how much I enjoy my power until I don’t have any. It makes me think about people in the past when there wasn’t an option for electricity and makes me feel even more for the people in the world today who can’t afford it or don’t have the option to have power in their homes. Individuals in poverty or in places where there is no electricity or who are living under a government that forbids it or controls it.
I have so much to be thankful for. I’m even thankful for Murphy’s Law for reminding me to look to the silver lining and be thankful for the things I have even when they do go wrong.
But most importantly I’m grateful for a God that is my light in the dark, my seeker when I’m lost, my warmth when I’m cold, and my quiet in a noisy world. I treat Him many times like Murphy, I only think of Him when I’m in need or I want something, or when things go wrong. But He is the only one that provides all my earthly possessions, the only one that gives me strength and comfort. He is the only one whom I can always depend upon. He’ll help make the bad luck seem insignificant and He’ll use it to empower Himself and increase my capacity to allow Him to live in my heart, in my mind and in my soul. I am so lucky to belong to Him. I am so lucky that even though I feel that my day was full of things I believed I needed, God is truly my only need and He forgives me for the times I feel I need more.
So here’s to my old chum, Murphy. You sir, have become my friend today because you have given me the opportunity to reflect upon my truest friend, my Jesus, my Lord and Savior.