Don’t you long for those big events you plan so hard for to go off without a hitch? That big date? Your kid’s graduation party? A dinner you’re hosting? Doesn’t seem to matter how well you prepare, or even if you try to head off all the what-ifs, life still happens – to all of us! The trick is to develop a sense of humor so that it doesn’t throw you off your game. Then ask yourself, “What is God trying to teach me through all this?” The answer might be as simple as “Relax! Find joy in the journey.”
~ ~ ~
I arrived at Erie International Airport at 6 am.
“Ma’am, you’re gonna need to fold up that stick to be x-rayed. Don’t worry about your laptop. We’ll take care of it for you. Just hold this lady’s hand and she’ll walk you through the metal detector.”
Cane travel changes the way people view you. After traveling the world by myself, I am five years old again—hold this nice lady’s hand. Because I sometimes walk with a cane, people think I am a hundred percent blind. But I can see…at least some of the time!
9:45 am. “We’ve got in early.” First things first. Rest room!
“Chile, this nice lady come to pick you up. You need enna help in there?”
“No ma’am, I’m fine. I’ll be right out. Thank you.” I addressed the airport custodian. Does she think that blind people don’t know how to use a lavatory by themselves?
“Welcome to Kansas City. I’m Connie, one of the conference organizers. I must apologize but I need to run some errands. You can rest at my house while I do that and then we’ll head over to the church where the conference is held.”
At Connie’s place, I met a very prestigious editor tapping away on her computer. ” Hey, I should print out the articles I want to pitch to the magazine editors later on.” It would only take a few minutes. I envisioned dropping them into a row of in-trays as soon as I arrived. The editors would see me as a serious writer.
I set up my laptop on the table and booted it up. Midway through, it halted and I heard a high-pitched squeal. The screen turned black except for these frightening words “… unrecoverable error. It has been disabled to protect your Windows…Contact your System Administrator.”
Now to switch to my back-up plan. I had my articles in Dropbox files. I could access them through the Internet with any computer. When Connie arrived, I explained the problem. She led me straight to her office, and sat me down at what was probably the world’s smallest laptop. I squinted to make out font the size of fire ants. Thirty minutes, and two crossed eyes later, I gave up. Lord, if you allowed this to happen, I must not need these articles after all.
We left and sat in a pre-conference session. Then it was time to eat.
“Now, Amy, this meal is for the Board of Directors and VIP faculty and guest speakers. I got special permission for you to attend this dinner,” Connie informed me.
“Thank you!” I breathed as I folded up my cane. Somehow I pinched myself in the process and blood spurted out on my index finger. “Ouch!” No one noticed. I opened my purse and took out a tissue out to stop the flow of blood. Although I put pressure on it, five minutes later it was still bleeding a bit.
Just then, Connie motioned for me to come over, “Amy, this is the publisher of your book, 101 Facets of Faith.”
Mark, a big burly man with sandy hair, blue eyes, a big wide grin and a rough-looking beard, extended his hand.
Oh. Not now! I wiped my hand on my brown corduroy pant leg and hoped that it caught the remnant of blood before I took his hand. Mark clasped my small hand in his larger one for a moment. “I received your two devotionals for our new publication.” He lowered his voice to a whisper, “I like your writing.” How nice! But … my hand! I had to get it away before it bled again. “Thanks, Mark.” Dear Lord, let me not have embarrassed myself!
By 10 pm I was exhausted. A woman named Sally volunteered to drive me to my hotel room. “Grab your coat.” I spied my big hood on a coat hanging up near the door. I slid it off the hanger and slipped it on. Then I stumbled after a shadowy figure I hoped was Sally through the parking lot and to her car. My eyes did not cooperate very well in the darkness. Tiredness and stress always worsened my vision. Thank God I have my cane!
That evening as I got ready for bed, I noticed a big bruise on my right arm. I had a couple more on each hip. How did I do that? Hard to tell. Probably bumped into something the airport. Have to be more careful. I dabbed some soap over my bruises. I did a double-take. Hey—are those getting lighter? My eyes were starting to play tricks on me again. It seemed like the washcloth got blue spots.
Just before I turned in for the night, I called up my long-time editor friend and told him about my big day. “…And guess what else? My watch stopped. The airplane must have drained the battery or something. I have to use my cell phone to tell time now!”
“Don’t forget about the time change. You don’t want to be too early or late for any appointments.” He warned.
“Would I do that?” I joked, already half-asleep.
I wondered what the next day would bring.