I went to pick up a lunch order, only to find out I drove to the wrong restaurant. No big deal, right?
Well…it took me awhile to find the restaurant. And then to find a parking spot. And then to actually find the entrance of the restaurant. In short, I didn’t walk in to the franchise in a sound state of mind. Then I stood there waiting at the “call in” order section and no one was around. Finally, I asked, and of course, they couldn’t find my order.
When I realized I was in the wrong restaurant my anger flipped, like a switch, to contempt.
If you’re familiar with contempt you’ll know that in a heartbeat everything and everybody sucks. The world sucks.
I stomped out of the restaurant knowing I was not in a good space. I couldn’t flip the contempt switch off.
I marched down the sidewalk. A clip-board-wielding college kid asked me how my day was going. “Not Good!,” I replied as I irritatingly past him.
I prayed. I didn’t want to be in this state of mind.
Up ahead I caught a glimpse of a little girl leaning out the passenger window of an SUV. She was watching me, closely. Her chin was resting on her arm, and she store at me with the most innocent eyes I’ve seen in awhile. She wasn’t cute. She was piercing – interesting quality for a 4-year-old – if I had to guess her age.
Anyway, I put my head down and marched on. At 10-feet away I looked up again. She was still staring directly at me – into my eyes. She wasn’t sad. She wasn’t happy. Frankly, I don’t recall seeing the expression before. It was a look beyond her years. That was certain.
I marched right past her determined not to let a little girl infect my contempt. At 10-feet past the girl I realized God was sending me a message. I stopped dead in my tracks. I looked back, and there she was – still locked on my eyes. I smiled. I waved. She, ever so subtly and knowingly, smiled.
I walked on. My contempt vanished.
Thanks for reading,
~ Ted Olson
(This happened yesterday)