Do you ever have those days when you’ve got it all together? Everything happens just the way you planned, all your ducks are in a row; in short, you’ve got everything under control. Yeah, me too…sometimes. Today wasn’t one of those days. Oh, I put up a great front; probably even fooled most of the folks who crossed my path, but all day I was aware that I was far from in control.
For some reason, it seems that I’m far more likely to recognize my inadequacies on a daily basis than I once was. The older I get, the more convinced I find myself that I am not all put together. I don’t like it, either. I remember the days of being cocksure, of being almost obnoxious…okay, not almost obnoxious, actually completely obnoxious in my assurance of being right. If you are one of the ones I ran my steamroller over in those days, I sincerely apologize. I was young…and immature. Come to think of it, if it happened recently (and it’s not unlikely)…just immature. I have warned you before that I am a slow learner. But, I am slowly learning.
I’m also grateful for second (or sometimes third) chances to get things right. This afternoon, as I worked in the office, a young lady came into the music store. The Lovely Lady was there to talk with her. I heard the voices, but wasn’t really listening. All I know is that in a moment, the Lovely Lady was at the window asking if I wanted to buy a particular band instrument. My immediate reaction was rude and unthinking. “No! You know we don’t buy that brand of instrument. Besides that, it’s weeks after the time for us to sell it. We’ll have it until next school year!” I told you yesterday of our predicament with taxes and inventory and I was not about to let that happen again. This was the start of the new me, the tough, disciplined me. My mind was preoccupied with my own problems, so I completely missed the look on the Lovely Lady’s face as I replied roughly. She however, didn’t fail to miss the look on the young lady’s face at the counter. The disappointed young lady picked up her treasure, which had been her last chance to get the money she needed to meet an important deadline, and headed dejectedly out the door.
The Lovely Lady’s head was back at the window instantly. “Couldn’t we give her something? Twenty dollars?” “Does she need it?” I asked stupidly (Duh!). “She really does,” came the quick answer. Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m slow. I know that ordinarily the question regarding the purchase of such an instrument would never have come to me in the first place if she didn’t think we needed to step up. She wanted to give me a chance to do the right thing without being prodded. But today I was tied up in my own problems. Today, I thought I was the one who needed help. By this time though, a light was starting to glow. We needed to act quickly. “Well, stop her!” I said immediately. Called back in from her car, the young lady was astounded with the unexpected gift. Well, it was certainly unexpected after my initial reaction! And, my Lovely Lady had the opportunity to remind her that it would be her turn the next time to share a blessing with someone else who needed it.
I’m already in enough trouble as it is for divulging this episode to you, so I’ll not compound my problems by getting mushy. However, I will point out that on the days when I’m not already at my best, there is often someone else nearby who helps me to become my best. There’s not a single one of us who can’t use that help once in awhile…or, if you’re like me, frequently.
Flawless performances pulled off in real life are seldom accomplished by a solo act. Sure, there are times when I have to step up myself and get it right without prodding. But more often, I’m thankful for the tag-team approach that allows me to step back from my snap decisions and take a second look. I’ve said it before and this won’t be the last time I write it…I’m thankful for second chances – to get a bad decision right, to make amends, to say the right words that help erase the stupid ones.
Tomorrow is, in fact, another day; another chance to get it all together. Lessons learned today can only help and she’ll still be at my side, so I’m good. May you all be so blessed.
“…but you’ll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two.”
(“Daisy Bell”~popular American song~composed in 1892 by Harry Dacre)
“But, pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.”