You know that sick feeling you get when you've inadvertently done something stupid? Sure you do! That's the feeling I had this morning. I had had breakfast with Willie, taken a truckload of stuff to the transfer station, made a quick stop at Burger King, visited a couple friends who've been going through some serious health issues, picked up a guitar stand at Trinity Guitars, stopped by Tanglewood Nursing Home, then to Sam's Club to pick up a couple items. Walking from the truck to the store and reaching for my Sam's card was when I noticed that my wallet wasn't in my pocket. Driver's license, medical insurance cards, registrations for truck and bike, credit cards, pistol permit, plus cash; this was not good! I started retracing my steps from one end of town to the other. Nursing home? Nope. Burger King? Nope. Transfer station? Nope. I was on my way to the driveway of my friends' home, desperately praying, all the calls I'd have to make running through my mind, when I glanced over at the passenger seat. It held a chopsaw I was returning to a friend, and tucked down beside it was my wallet.
Instant relief, and heartfelt prayers of gratitude! I visited two friends in another nursing home, dropped off the chopsaw, and headed home. Linda and I had about an hour together before I needed to plow out one of our senior citizens who was snowed in and Linda needed to go to an Afterschool board meeting. The plan was for us to have dinner out, her Valentine's gift to me. I plowed our driveway for the second time today then took care of two driveways, returning to the news that her meeting had been cancelled and that our tenant had called to tell us that the heating run in the apartment had frozen and sprung a leak. The carpet was soaked, but he had managed to figure out which valve controlled the apartment and shut it off. A quick call to the heating company, and we decided we needed to go to dinner before we heard any more bad news.
It was one of those days. As we sat at dinner, we reflected that although there was much we hadn't expected, nothing we experienced was life-threatening. Our family is intact, our health is good, we have a warm home and plenty to eat, good friends, and the blessing of being able to give as well as receive. It would have been a bit more difficult had I not found my wallet, but I would still have given thanks because I have decided that I won't let circumstances determine my attitude. Gratitude is not only for those times when all is well; it is a necessity of life when all is wrong. When I was growing up, my pastor had a small sign on his desk. It read, "Praise God Anyway!" Pretty good advice, I'd say.