What a day. You could stick a fork into me and tell that I am absolutely done.
I have a part-time job as a substitute educational assistant in the school district where I live. I do it because I get to choose when I work, how often, and where. That’s the up side. The down side is that I get phone calls at 6:30 a.m. most mornings asking if I want to work, and I have to be coherent. And, I work at different schools and step into so many jobs that I usually feel like I’m no help at all. But it pays.
This morning, before I dashed out the door to try to get to a school I’d never been to, I checked my e-mail. I received a reply from a query I’d sent to a Christian magazine about an article I wanted to write for them. Assuming they would think my idea was wonderful, I’d already begun writing it. Well, they thought their audience was already well-acquainted with my topic, and therefore they weren’t interested (in a very polite way, of course). Hmmm, I thought, as I bolted for my car. “Lord, I was quite sure this was the topic you suggested to me…”
As I drove, I considered what this meant…a door closing. Then…aha…perhaps you don’t want me to keep going after the same publication. I need to get published in more than one venue… But if you’re a freelance writer, you know that querying publications can take you to the end of your life. Publications, agents and editors are notorious for taking weeks and weeks to get back to you, although, thankfully, the one I heard from this morning took only about a week. “Lord, I’m not getting any younger.”
I had to stop for a drink at Starbucks…I live in Starbucks country. It’s a way of life. OK, I’ll admit it, I NEEDED it this morning…I was headed to a special ed elementary classroom…”extra hot tall soy chai two pumps cinnamon dolce no foam no water.” After I emerged, I looked at my watch, and thought I might not make it on time.
I got in the car and consulted the Google Map. You know when you look at a Google Map and KNOW that the directions are a little screwy?
-Take exit 13 toward Lakemont Blvd SE/SE Newport Way
– Sharp left at 180th Ave SE
– Continue on Lakemont Blvd SE
Say what?!! “Lord, please, don’t let me get lost this morning. I know this is asking a lot, but can I please get there on time?”
Yep, I was right. There was no sharp left at 180th Ave SE. None at all. And I was still on track. Then, I passed my very next turn. Shoot!! OK, not much time lost, just make a quick correction. I followed the directions and made it exactly on time. Then the Lord spoke to me. “See how this happened this morning? You had to make a quick turnaround, but you still made it on time. It’s the same with your ministry. You’ve been diverted, but only momentarily. Just trust me. I’ll get you there on time.”
Forty-five minutes later, I was dealing with a darling 7-year-old named Tyler who decided he didn’t want to do his “work” with his plastic letter blocks. He wanted to throw them. And scream. Just across the way a little girl named Nikki threw a tantrum. “Lord, any possibility we could speed up the process?”
After a very challenging day, I ran for the car. I had to pick my youngest up from school early so that I could drive my oldest 45 min. up to the softball training facility for a practice at 4 p.m.
We arrived only to find out that it had been changed to 6 p.m.- -I had somehow missed the e-mail. After jumping through a number of hoops to get up there at the ridiculous time of 4 p.m., I was HOT. My daughter stuck her head out of the facility to inform me that we were two hours early, and I said, “That’s it!” I jumped out of the car and stormed up to the unfortunate coach who happened to be standing there. (Remember, they have a Christian staff.) “I am really annoyed!” I announced. I went on a minor tirade about how hard it was to get up there by 4 p.m., and how Christian, who had to finish a huge project tonight, would be now be up until midnight or so finishing it. He looked at me and said, “Hey, how about if she just does a hitting lesson for an hour, then you guys can head home?”
I left my daughter there and drove away, placated, but still somewhat annoyed. Jillian and I were going to drive up to the nearby town–my favorite antiquing destination–to browse around while I calmed down. We pulled out into bumper-to-bumper traffic on the only highway that fed into the town, and spied the sign: “Accident Ahead.” Aaarrrgggghhhh!!! I made another u-turn, and headed back to the facility.
When I walked into the facility, I could tell I had been the topic of conversation. I began to feel sheepish. Jose, the head of the facility, walked up to me and said, “Hey, praise God, this will work out even better for you. Christian’s getting a semi-private hitting lesson, and you guys will get back home a lot sooner.”
He was right. The Lord had worked it out beautifully. Even with the u-turns. And He humbled me in the process. Again.