If you have lived long enough or have bothered to do something that took a little planning you are probably very familiar with Murphy’s Law, ‘Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.’ There was an another opportunity this weekend for Murphy’s Law to wreck havoc with regards to a dear friend, a dead car battery, a crowded parking lot, and an empty tool bag. Here’s what happened…
I got a call from a friend who was in our neighborhood shopping and could not start his car. All symptoms pointed to a dead battery. (That happens a lot in Arizona – it’s the dry heat they say.) When I got there I found the friend parked, head in, hood up and with jumper cables attached and ready to go. It was a Saturday afternoon so the lot was full with a lot of activity and no spaces close by, so I had to pull over and park in the driving aisle, blocking a couple of cars. (Potential problem if I have to move with cables connected.)
It was apparent that his cables weren’t going to reach. So another potential problem, but I had a pair with me – that bullet dodged. We linked them and although the car sputtered and made beeps and dings it still would not start. Now what? Google ‘Auto Repair’ and found Goodyear up the block. But of course, they don’t sell the special battery we need. Dang! But the dude tells me to try AutoZone about a mile up the road, and yes! They are open. And yes! They have the battery! This could actually happen!
Now we just have to swap batteries. I check my tool bag in my trunk, certain I have the pliers, wrench and maybe screw driver we would need, but, what??! They’re gone! No tools! (I later remembered that I gave them my favorite daughter the last time I asked her if she had any tools in her car. ‘Tools? Why would you need tools in the car?!’) Now my friend, double checks his car and he finds a small wrench, a vise grip and some wet ones. OK now we have something to work with, because if we can’t loosen the nuts holding the terminal cables I’m making the R/T home to get tools! But wait! Eureka! With a little effort and a little jiggy-ing the cables come free! As if ‘Someone’ had loosened them just enough so that we could get this all to work and save the round trip home, or the call to the tow-guy, and the loss of more time and/or more cash flying south. So with only a modest effort we switch the battery and my friend is on his way!
I think we’ve all been in situations like this that maybe didn’t turn out as well. When things don’t come together and Murphy’s Law is enforced like drunk driving on a Saturday night in downtown Scottsdale. There were a lot of turns during this situation that could have gone wrong – blocked cars, short cables, no tools, no open stores around, don’t have the right battery, car still won’t start, weather conditions, etc…But in this case, and in probably more cases than not, things normally work out. It just seems to me that a proper perspective is key. If all we focus on is how terrible things are going, then I would imagine that the world would seem a terrible place. But if we instead turn our very keen powers of observation on to all of the times when things have fallen into place in our lives the world seems a lot more hospitable. It becomes a matter of acknowledging God’s hand in our lives – not only in the large life-changing revelations but in the daily lackluster accommodations.
Bottom Line – I have discovered that if you double down on your appreciation of the many of God’s little gifts of grace each day – things as forgetful as a good parking spot, a warm bed or a tasty meal (or any meal for that matter) – you will be surprised as to how much more good grace comes into your life. And if enough of us can get behind it, we just may get a movement going to repeal old Murphy’s Law and replace it with the Gift of God’s Grace.
“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28