Have you ever heard of grace described as “favor towards the unworthy”? It seems as society gets more demanding and unforgiving I reflect on grace. Grace or as I like to say
Giving Real Appreciation Changes Everything!
This morning I got up early and drove an hour in thick traffic for a very important meeting. A meeting I had scheduled three weeks ago. A meeting I had done hours of research for. A meeting that would impact my life only to find the administrative assistant forgot to put the meeting on the schedule. I left my house at 7:30 to arrive at 8:25 just five minutes from the agreed meeting time. I struggled with two heavy bags down a very long hallway, full of many turns trying to find someone to help me locate the office I was to be at.
I met a security guard sitting in an office that gave me a set of directions, “See that water fountain? Well, walk to it, then turn left. Look for a bank of windows on the left wall. Turn around to the opposite side of that wall and walk in the door directly opposite of it.”. Let me just tell you, I can usually remember 2 directions but this was too much! I wondered to myself, “Why couldn’t he just quickly walk with me to my destination instead of gazing mindlessly at his phone?”.
I pick up my bags that weighed about 30 pounds each (remember my ministry has heart-shaped rocks involved so I am not exaggerating). I shuffle my feet to the water fountain and meander down the hallway to find the office I was supposed to be at for my important meeting locked and all the lights off. Oh yeah, I asked 2 other people on my way for directions. I looked at the door, drop my bags, and scratch my head.
I see two people walking toward me and they ask me if I am lost. I told them about my meeting and they looked at me like I was totally crazy. “He doesn’t come in this early. Why don’t you come sit in this comfortable area and we will try to reach out to him for you.” I was grateful and would have sat right on the floor where I was if I had thought it would have been acceptable.
As I sit waiting for the verdict as to when my meeting would take place, I reviewed my emails to confirm I was here on the right day and time. Yes, I was correct, it was today at 8:30am.
The lady that was reaching out to my appointed contact informed me, “His assistant is 5 minutes away and she will talk to you when she arrives.” Do I need to tell you that 5 minutes was actually equivalent to 20 minutes.
I sat fidgeting when finally a blonde lady walked up to me and said, “Now, who are you? We don’t have any appointments on our schedule today for 8:30 am.” I started to show her the email on my phone and she replied, “Oh you’re Grateful Gratitude. Is this a personal appointment or business?” Really I thought to myself. I felt my blood pressure rising and here I go again lugging my bags of rocks down the dreaded hallway again.
As we arrived at the office, she announces to me that I would have received a calendar invite if the meeting was finalized. I apologized (yes I apologized) for not knowing what their meeting protocol was as I had never been informed there was a protocol. She fires up her laptop and says, “It looks like he is busy all day. He has his first appointment at 9:30”. I realize she doesn’t see it’s already 9:10am. “Maybe you can come back tomorrow, I’ll have to ask him when he can see you.” was her next response.
Trying to be kind I offered, “I would like to reschedule but my ministry keeps me pretty booked and I really don’t have another three-hour window available this month. Remember it’s almost an hour each way to and from this location. “She responds, “How about next Wednesday at 11:30?” My turn, “I’m sorry,” I replied, “I have a grief support luncheon I am teaching from 11:30-1pm.” I replied.
I was incredibly frustrated and felt like my time was worth nothing to this person. I will say she apologized multiple times but I felt like she was on autopilot repeating, “I’m sorry you drove here” and not listening to me trying to coordinate a new appointment time. I finally told her I would just have to look at my calendar when I got back to my office and would email her.
Before I was a mile away from the location my phone chimed I had a new email. When I stopped at the next red light I read the email.
Hi Laurie, I am so sorry that you drove over this morning. He does have time Wednesday, 4/13 between 9:15-11:30 am.
UGHHHHHHH! (Remember Charlie Brown when Lucy pulled the football out as he kicked? That’s how I felt.) This was the specific day I told her I couldn’t come.
I decide to drive home and not think of the ordeal for at least an hour. As I pulled into my driveway, I remembered:
Ephesians 4:7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
Grace, extending favor to another just as God extends His grace to us, me particularly. He gave His grace freely and my heart began to soften and think of the others involved in my predicament. The assistant mentions she was stuck in traffic and was late arriving for her job. He (my appointment) didn’t know he had an appointment because she hadn’t gotten it approved to add it to the schedule.
I was putting myself first without looking at what else was actually going on. I was just thinking of my commute and aching arms from my heavy bags. Jesus carried a cross that weighed around 300 pounds. Why am I complaining?
Also, Jesus would have never thought of Himself first. No matter how weary He was, He always had grace and mercy for others. I recognized I was not being very Christlike this morning.
I realized that giving grace was giving a gift that requires nothing in return. I felt the Holy Spirit moving within me saying to give grace to the assistant and the man I was to meet with. I will need grace someday and hope to receive it as well.
Colossians 3:12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Zachariah 7:9 “This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.
Proverbs 3:3-4 Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.
Thank you for allowing me to rant about such a silly thing. It just proves we are all human and need to strive daily to be better and kinder. May God bless you this very day.-LoLo