I always felt bad for the Baudelaire children in the Series of Unfortunate Events books. As the title might suggest, they went through a series of unfortunate events. A phrase which here means something to the effect of: "their parents died, their house burned down, a mad money-grubbing man with a gross unibrow came after them for years, and they interacted with countless idiotic people who trusted said madman and ruined everything about the children's lives that wasn't already ruined." While I as the reader pitied them and felt bad that they had such "unfortunate" lives, I also am fully aware that I have been through dramatically worse things than what they went through. They got nothing on me this week. Yesterday I got a red-light camera traffic ticket in the mail and today I babysat teething twins for hours and then accidentally threw away the money I got paid in my haste to get to class. THAT, my friends, is a real series of unfortunate events.
Okay. Just kidding. I mostly wanted to compare that so that I would stop feeling sorry for myself.
But when I was digging through the trash outside of the Student Center desperately looking for the $20.00 bill that I hoped was still in there and safe/sanitary in the plastic bag I left it in, I realized how appropriate of a microcosm of my life this situation was. I messed up, ran a red light, had to pay most of my savings for it, and was furious with myself. Therefore when I got a spur-of-the-moment opportunity to babysit this morning, I saw it as providence and realized that I could make a little of that money back and God was supplying my need. I put in the effort, got paid, and then literally THREW that provision away. Almost immediately. How often do I do that on a bigger scale? So many times I mess up, God fixes my mistakes or shows me how to fix them, I put in a little effort and then just give up or throw away the opportunities God gives me because I don't really put enough value in them to protect them or work harder to maintain them. Whether that's Bible study, friendships, relationships, school...I throw away things much bigger and of much more value than $20.00 bills frequently. Sometimes I'm not ready to take the "babysitting job" God gives me. Or I pick school over that opportunity. Or I just don't realize I need anything so I don't see the need to put effort in. Sometimes I just lose sight of the money hiding in the pile of trash in my front seat because I didn't realize its value enough or appreciate the blessing enough to put it in a safe place. I pass up opportunities and gifts because they get lost in all the garbage.
So, today, after I realized what I'd done and cried a little about it, I decided to dig through the trash just to make sure there was no way I could retrieve that $20.00. That took some humility. I'd be embarrassed for Falcon kids to pull up to the Student Center and see this random girl with a nametag digging through the garbage for Subway bags. "Wow, FC kids must be REALLY poor...."But hey, it was worth it. Because I can use that money for Disney or banquet week -- things that will make digging through the trash TOTALLY worth it. I've had to do this several times lately. Begging teachers to forgive my frequent missing-of-classes, friends to have patience with my bad communication skills, having to humble myself to dig through the garbage once I realize the value of the chances God's given me.
That's where I am today. Looking at the things I've passed up and realizing sometimes you just have to grovel to get back on your feet. Sometimes you mess up, God provides, and you just have to put some effort in to move forwards. I'm willing to dig through the trash to find the $20.00. I'm putting in the work to take advantage of this amazing life God's given me. And I'm praying that I won't throw any more 20's away.
I found the money, by the way. Literally and figuratively.
God is good.