Tuesday, November 21

Smudged

Every prudent man acts out of knowledge, but a fool exposes his folly. --Proverbs 13:16 (NIV)

"Come on, come on," I muttered agitatedly.

The printer whirred calmly with mechanical indifference, unaware that I was under a bit of pressure. Several seconds later, the page of labels I had been waiting for so impatiently began to appear. I yanked my prize unceremoniously from the printer before the sheet was completely free of the rollers. In doing so I managed to smudge the ink on the bottom half of the page, rendering the text unreadable.

That was just one mistake I made, but it kept me from making an even bigger one.

In my haste to prepare my packages to meet the FedEx pickup deadline in the mail room, I had fed glossy labels into an inkjet printer. The labels smudged largely because I hadn't allowed the ink to dry. However, I realized that with a little bit of effort I could use my thumb to wipe away the addresses on the other labels too. I'm glad I noticed this small but critical detail before I shipped the packages out to our clients. What a disaster this could have caused had I proceeded to put them in the mail!

There are times when little inconveniences--particularly the kind we cause ourselves like in my smudged label situation--make me pause just long enough to sit back and look at the bigger picture. Some of the things that seem to slow me down are my own fault. Nonetheless, I am quite certain that everything happens for a reason. In my own experience those things are not just happenstance or coincidence. God uses such things to remind me to look to him for answers, direction and instruction, not to mention discipline.

Today I learned that it's okay if I don't get things right the first time, but I do need to slow down and pay attention to the things that matter. I am thankful for the seemingly inconvenient things that God uses to get my attention.

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