In the Catholic church, one of the parts of a mass is when people would offer each other the sign of peace. Admittedly, I thought this peace meant “absence of war or enemies” thats why sometimes I would give people the peace sign. As I matured in the faith, I realized that the peace being talked about here is inner peace which is “being free from disturbances or anxiety” and in our recent trip to the US once again this peace was put to a test.
So we just concluded our 1st family West to East Coast trip in the USA, our longest ever at over 30 days. We first went to LA, then drove to Vegas, then went through Death Valley & Yosemite to get to San Francisco and finally going back LA. We then took a plane to Florida, then flew to New York (just to pickup car), Drove to Washington, then Philadelphia and back to New York where we stayed for 4 days…. on this last leg, we naturally have shopped a bit and therefore our bags were a bit heavy… I made a bag where I placed all the not so urgent and important ones — GPS that wasn’t going to be used anymore (since I don’t drive in New York), New Shoes which I planned on wearing only on wedding shoots, books which I bought during my visit to Mark Batterson’s church, our vanity kit and my camera and laptop charger. Sounds light but for a duffel bag this was pretty heavy (about 50 lbs!). I actually don’t remember what else I have inside. To cut the story short, as we were walking to our hotel which was about 4 streets away from the station, I thought “Why do I feel light?” And had remembered that I had forgotten to take down the duffel back from the overhead compartment. Senile moment, I had forgotten my bag. Before you start judging me, can i just give an excuse that we had just so much stuff to bring.
To my mind I was thinking what a way to conclude a great trip… by forgetting an entire bag! At that moment, I had a choice… to sulk or to move on. This wasn’t my first blooper though and so I’ve gotten used to it, many times in the past the devil has tried to steal away my joy by doing something that will distract me from doing what I needed to do. So I decide to move on. But don’t get me wrong, I called the lost & found every day and paid a visit 2x during our 4 day stay. However, I didn’t let it ruin my mood, I never even got worried. I am secure that God can easily replace whatever I lost but this opportunity that I have right now to spend good time with my kids might never pass again.
On the last day, the day we were supposed to leave (we had a night flight) we paid one final visit somehow both Monique and I had an impression that the bag would return. So we went to the office once again with hopeful hearts, and the lady in the counter did a search, found my name, described the bag and said “Im sorry but there is no match”. Our hearts sank knowing the finality of going home without the bag.
Sometimes, things do not turn out the way we want it to be. But it is never God’s fault… He is perfect and I am flawed. I have only two people to blame — its either me or the devil. Either my being forgetful or his trial & temptations.
When things don’t go as planned — see it as an opportunity to show our faith and trust in God. Praise God not only in good times but bad. Rather than focusing what you have lost, see the blessings that you have received and if you forget and think that it’s been awhile since you have received a blessing — remember that Jesus is the greatest blessing that you can ever get. You might not have gotten that job you have praying for, that baby you’ve been expecting, that grade you’ve been working for or Mr or Ms right have not come, whatever that is…. If these things do bother you and make you feel insecure, then maybe we need to remember that Jesus is all we really need in this world and everything else is just a bonus.