Do you ever feel like a walking disaster? Like at times everything you touch falls apart? Like you would be the richest person alive if someone gave you a nickel every time something in your life went wrong?
I envision the scene from a movie where a guy is walking through a convenience store and clumsily knocks over a couple cans of tomatoes. In turn, this causes the whole display to topple over, somehow catching the corner of the isle rack just to the right, knocking down the entire row and causing a domino effect of every row falling one by one on top of each other. The scene ends panning out to the deer-in-the-headlights look on the guy’s face, standing amidst the rubble of the collapsed racks and holding a can of tomatoes as he looks around at all the “happy” customers glaring straight at him.
A while back, I had one of these experiences. I was on my way to meet a friend to try out a sweet young adults group we had heard about. Little did I know I would never reach my friend or the event at all, but instead be stuck in a fender-bender (my fault) with 6 angry and threatening teenagers in the other car, crime busting police, potential criminal suspects and upset parents. The other vehicle soon drove off and I was left like the guy in the movie scene awkwardly holding the can of tomatoes.
You could say I felt like a tragic comedy.
I’m realizing though, that these “walking disaster” moments cause me to reevaluate my idea of what life’s about.
What if life’s not about things going right?
What if everything you’ve ever learned and know was stripped away, and it was just about one thing.
Simply knowing Christ. And that’s it.
We’ve been given a life, which James 4:14 calls “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes”. The truth of this verse became very real to me during my time in the hospital with cancer. Watching my hopes, dreams and future flash before my eyes, I suddenly saw a much bigger picture. Did I really think this “mist” was about me?
It seems we’ve all gotten the message that things aren’t the way they’re supposed to be when they’re going wrong… but I honestly don’t know where that came from. Christ suffered. In fact, nothing in His life seemed to go at all “right”. Even from the beginning, He was born in a crowded barn… I mean, come on. That’s not even close to being “right”! (especially for the Son of God!)
We are called Christians because we are supposed to follow the example of Christ. If this is so, then whoever led us to believe things aren’t the way they’re supposed to be when they do go “wrong”?? 1 Peter 4:12 also says, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” This verse kind of makes me laugh, cause I can feel a twinge of sarcasm in Peter’s words. I can see him almost implying us being in a tizzy, upset and in disbelief over whatever “wrong” situation is happening to us as we throw up our hands asking how this could happen to US! Why, hello reality check…
Remember, even if just for a moment, that we’re not invincible. If we all agree on this fact, then we should also come to grips with the fact that this life on earth is all we have to know Christ. Once our “mist” is over, that’s it. Either we know Him, or we don’t. Every single thing that happens in our life is a chance to know Him further. Our eternity is based on that.
I continue to get my “walking disaster”, “deer-in-the-headlights” reality checks, (sometimes more frequently then I would like!) but nonetheless, they keep things in perspective.
The next time things seem to go terribly wrong or not as expected… maybe we can just try to remember: Life’s not about things going right. It’s about knowing Christ through whatever comes our way.
Paige Armstrong’s first album with Whiplash Records, “Wake Up,” hit stores on Oct. 6. and is available now!