Thursday, August 27, 2009


A huge gust of wind caught the # 10 envelopes. They went flying on to the snow, and on to the road. Frantically I clutched the ones in hand, and tried to retrieve the rest.

Fear of the situation made it worse. It was the job I had been hired for. It was late on a winter day. Payroll and Vendor checks had to go out. I also was responsible to be back to close the telephone switchboard for the day. I didn’t need to jeopardize my job!

“It’s not my fault”, I whined to myself, cautiously making it a prayer. I had hoped for something different. After all, I was being paid for having things like this under control. I wasn’t doing too well!

An old leadership axiom came to my mind, “I had not planned to fail. I had failed to plan.” When I finally calmed down, I revisited that thought, and read it with new understanding. “Planning doesn’t, in itself, guarantee success, but facilitates a good response.” Situations are a part of life. Wisdom anticipates the worst, and plans accordingly. Our best planning will not always avert the entire crisis.

When caught in a windstorm, you don’t save the shingles that are already lying loose on the roof, about to fly off – you nail the ones that have one or two nails still intact, and then do all you can to protect the vulnerable ones. This has nothing to do with the difference in value, but it has everything to do with the windstorm, and preparedness.

It reminds me of the mother who left an older sibling in charge of younger children while she walked to a nearby grocery store. When she returned, she noticed all of the children playing with baby skunks. Anxious to avoid a stinking situation she cried, “Run!” They all grabbed a baby skunk and ran – not exactly what the mother had planned. She had known about skunks, but her children had not.

My job wasn’t perfect, my surroundings were not perfect, and neither was I!

I remember a pole barn in an Indiana town that had been built over a rapidly decaying building. It seemed odd to me until I realized there just was not room to build it alongside. Nor did they have sufficient time before winter to relocate all that was in the building. They reassessed their goals, and built around and over it.

I get the impression that God occasionally sends a crisis our way, that we might learn our helplessness, and His adequacy! As we obey Him, the “cup of life” that we have been given can be turned into a blessing for another. God’s strength shines in our weakness, and our own “cup of life”, to use a metaphor, is filled to overflowing with “new wine”!

Peter, strengthen your brethren – live a larger life, dependent upon Him! Luke 22:32

“Be watchful, strengthen the things that remain.” Revelation 3:2

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