Ever hear the expression “be careful what you wish for”? Or course you have, that’s why it’s called and expression. For Christ-Followers it should be “be careful what you pray for”.
This past week I had one of those experiences. You see, in order to make ends meet I decided to take a second (and third) job back in January. Now in addition to building my financial services practice, developing the Meekonomics Project and working part time at a group home for the developmentally handicapped, I get up every morning at 3:00 am and deliver the local newspaper to about 150 homes. I’m a busy guy!
More to the point, I tend to be a tired guy.
So this past Thursday, when I got up to deliver the paper I said a prayer that I’m sure many of you have said yourselves at one time or another. “Lord Give Me Strength.” Little did I know to what extend God was going to test me that day.
I drove to the drop location for my newspapers, stopped the car, turned off the ignition, and took out the keys. Then I re-thought the process and said to myself, “I don’t need any keys here” so I put them back in the ignition and got out of the car.
You guessed it – I locked my keys in the car!
Think about the picture for a second. It’s 3:30 am, there is absolutely no one around and to add insult to injury the phone number for road side assistance, to have a tow truck come and unlock the door, is on my key chain! “Lord Give Me Strength!”
I’m not sure how long it was, a minute, maybe two, but as I was standing there, staring at my keys dangling from the ignition another one of the paper men (I refuse to call myself a paper boy) came by and kindly offered to drive me home to get my spare keys.
Once I got everything sorted out and I started to relax I swear I heard God laughing at me! After He stopped chuckling He said; “I heard you asking for strength but really, you have a pretty easy life. You have 3 jobs in a world where a lot of people don’t have any. Because you’re wife is taking care of her elderly parents you are currently living rent free in a clean and safe suburban neighborhood, in a world where a lot of people have no home at all. Your career trajectory, while not meteoric is steady and you will soon be able to give up one or two of these jobs. So what if you have to get up early and go to bed before the prime time television schedule is completed. Life could be worse, a lot worse! So quit your whining and get on with it!”
When I heard God say that to me it made me smile. So I dropped a newspaper into a mail slot and started making plans for how I could be a little bit more grateful for the rest of the day.
Has anyone else had a “be careful what you pray for” experience like that?