I want to tell you about my day today. Now normally I would attempt to start with an interesting hook and a broad concept which I’ll connect with an experience I’ve had, but today I just feel like talking.
I woke up this morning 20 minutes before I was supposed to leave for my first appointment for the day because my alarm was set to vibrate and my phone was sitting on a pillow next to my bed. I arrived at my first appointment of the day, a meeting with someone who wanted to be a monthly supporter for my upcoming assignment as a missionary associate, fifteen minutes late and un-caffeinated because I ran out of time to make coffee. You know what, that person still made a significant commitment (almost 4% of my monthly budget)!
Then after my first meeting I grabbed a coffee and headed to my second meeting of the day, a meeting with my pastor to call other pastors about coming to speak at their churches. I was over-caffeinated and ready to talk to pastors and they all went to voicemail. After three calls, half a dozen emails, and a few more texts that meeting came to a close with little to show for it. You know what, I’m believing that some of them will call me back and I’ll be able to share what God is doing in Hungary with their churches.
Then I headed off to my third appointment of the day, babysitting for a friend. I was running right on, if not slightly behind schedule, and I thought it would be a good idea to take the back way to her house in order to bypass traffic. After one wrong turn and a GPS that gives terrible directions I was turned around (only later to find out that I was in the right place the whole time) and when I finally arrived at my destination I was ten minutes late. You know what, it turns out the only reason I got lost was because I second guessed myself and listened to a voice other than my own.
After that I headed back to the church to work on a number of tasks, from vacuuming to making copies to brief meetings with a couple more people. I was distracted, forgetful, and stressed out; I felt like a chicken with its head cut off, running aimlessly and frantically in circles. The whole while I was anticipating a call that I had been waiting on generally for months and specifically the entire day. Suddenly I realized it was 7 minutes past the hour and when I finally made the call I got voicemail, I called again and got voicemail again, and then a third time. I hung up and began to wonder if I had missed the opportunity to make the connection that I had been waiting on for months.
I knew I had to finish prepping for my final order of the day, leading young adults group. I ran around trying to finish making copies, got interrupted or distracted half a dozen times and I began to feel overwhelmed and anxious to the point of nearly shutting down. We made it through the first half of young adults group with even through my disjointed thoughts and distracted anticipation of my call from earlier being returned. Finally the call came in and I stepped out, a call that I had expected to be a small opportunity turned out to be an amazing blessing. When I finally returned I was still distracted, but for a very different, much better reason. You know what, I learned that even when stress hits me like a ton of bricks I have to keep moving forward so that they don’t continue to pile up. I also learned that blessings often come from the most unexpected places, and never to dismiss an opportunity just because it seems to have little return.
My day was chaotic and stressful, the kind of day I’d very much like to avoid, but I have to admit that through the stress and chaos I was reminded of some very important lessons: my inadequacies matter far less to others than I think; sometimes the only thing to do is trust that others will come through; don’t let other voices, especially ones with no authority, cause me to second guess myself; keep moving forward in stressful times so that I don’t become buried by anxiety; and finally don’t underestimate anyone just because they don’t seem to have much to offer.