Derrik and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Have you ever had one of those days where it seemed like everything took a wrong turn?  Not that there was any one item that posed significant difficulty, merely just a bunch of little items that culminated in a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day?  Yea… today was one of those days.

Friday afternoon I finished packing up the moving truck and began the drive up to New York.  My plan was to drive six to eight hours and pull off to the side of the road and catch some sleep and then finish the drive up Saturday morning when I woke up.  I was actually looking forward to the fact that the moving truck had a bench seat since that would mean I could stretch out across the whole length of the truck to sleep rather than trying to contort myself into awkward poses in a slightly reclined seat… at least I was looking forward to it until I realized that since it was a bench seat that mean the that driver’s side had essentially no adjustment in it, you get what you get and that is it.  In and of itself the seat was no big deal, I’ve dealt with worse.

I actually made pretty good time on the first leg of my journey, other than a traffic delay in Knoxville I was doing good, I was awake and alert and didn’t feel the overwhelming urge to utilize the restroom.  I was able to get about 5.5 hours into my trip before I finally had to stop and fill up with diesel… not too bad considering the size of the truck I was driving.  I’ve driven trucks/towed trailers that were longer, heavier, and required more overhead clearance, but I’ve never driven anything that sat this high off the ground.  You know it’s serious business when the base of the bench seat is taller than your head when you are standing on the ground.

Anyway, I stopped and filled up the tank and sat down to have dinner at 2130, there was a Denny’s at the Flying J where I filled up and a Belgian Waffle sounded appealing so I went there.  By the way, the holiday special red velvet hush puppies are amazing, well worth a special trip to Denny’s if you haven’t been in a while.

From there I drove for a couple more hours before I decided to pull off and catch a nap.  It was not until after I had parked the truck that I realized I had packed my pillow… Crud.  “Oh well, I guess I’ll just ball up this towel and hope it elevates my head enough to keep all the blood from rushing down and giving me an enormous headache when I wake up.”  Note to self, for future naps, park the truck on a level surface before attempting to fall asleep, especially if you’ve forgotten to keep a pillow in the front seat.  After about an hour and a half I felt alert enough (though definitely not rested) to continue my drive.

The rest of the drive was fairly uneventful and only involved one more nap in a McDonald’s parking lot and copious amounts of diesel fuel.  When I had set out on my journey I had intended to just wing it on the rental car upon my arrival.  Only having one person to drive two different vehicles can make things a logistical nightmare so I didn’t want to back myself into a corner with a reservation.  I figured if nothing else I would just call Enterprise and they could come pick me up.  I arrived at my destination just after 1300 and I was delighted to discover that there was an Enterprise location not 1.5 blocks from where I was.  After using the restroom I walked over to the Enterprise lot and was horrified to discover that they closed at 1300 and would not reopen until Monday morning.  With a growing sense of worry I began to search for other rental options on my phone… as it turns out, every non-airport rental car location had also closed at 1300 and would not be reopening until Monday morning and while the airport locations were still open they would not send someone to pick me up.

Alas, all was not lost; I had planned for this very eventuality, when I was packing the truck I made sure that the last thing that went in was my bicycle and pump.  Eight miles was more than I wanted to ride but I didn’t see that I had any other options.  I unpacked my bike, aired up the tires and set off… or at least I tried to.  It turns out that my chain had come unseated from the gears during the move.  “Ok, no problem, it’s not like my tools are in the least accessible place in the moving truck… Oh wait, they are.”

Eventually I was able to get the chain reseated using my fingers and a ball point pen that I found in the parking lot, and off I went.  Let me tell you, I’ve heard that upstate New York is very pretty this time of year, I honestly couldn’t tell you.  I think they call it upstate because it is actually located at 20,000ft and my eight mile ride was comprised entirely of what seemed like an endless uphill climb.  Gasping, I arrived at the airport and was able to secure a rental car big enough to carry my bike back to the moving truck.  From there I transferred most of the essentials over to the rental car and headed off to my hotel.

When I got to the hotel I was surprised to learn that they did not have a record of my reservation.  Frustrated, I brought up my confirmation email on my phone and discovered that I had made my reservation for next weekend, not this one… go figure.  I got my old reservation cancelled (with no fees) but unfortunately there was no availability in that hotel for this weekend.  I went back out to my car to see if I could secure accommodations elsewhere.

After some searching I finally found a hotel with a decent rate, before I booked it, however, I checked to see where it was located just to make sure it wasn’t on the opposite side of Albany.  When I saw that I was going to have to jump on the turnpike for a couple of exits I dug in my pockets to see if I had enough change since I had left most of my change in the moving truck.  I had two quarters left in my pocket, just enough for the turnpike, however, as I removed the second quarter it slipped from my fingers and fell between the driver’s seat and the center console.  For ten minutes I sat there trying to retrieve my quarter, I could see it but I simply could not reach it, not even from the back seat.  Finally I gave up and decided to just go back to the moving truck and get the rest of my change, but first I needed to finish booking my room.

As it turns out, in the time I spent trying to retrieve my quarter my reservation had timed out and there was no longer any availability in the new hotel.  At this point I was starting to sense a trend.  Once again I began my search for a hotel room; this time when I found one I made sure to book it immediately.  When I arrived at the hotel it was just after 1600 and I was beyond exhausted, I wanted nothing more than to take a shower, crawl into bed, and maybe watch a little football.  “I’m sorry sir, our housekeeping staff is running behind today and we don’t have any clean rooms right now.”

So what is the point of all this, what’s the moral of the story?  The moral is that your day is what you make of it; your attitude is ultimately what is in control, not in control of what happens but in control of how you handle and accept it.  By any right I have what can be classified as a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day but I don’t see it as such.  I choose to see the positives, I choose to acknowledge the areas where I see God’s blessing.  Is that evident in the account above?  Not really, but I wrote what I did intentionally so that I could illustrate a point.

My point is this, if you choose to focus on the negative aspects of your life that will gradually be all that you see, the opposite is also true, the more you focus on God’s provision the less you will notice the effects of this fallen world.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that that we should always approach life with a happy-go-lucky attitude; no, there is a time for everything, even things like frustration, anger, jealousy, and mourning.  We should be frustrated with ignorance (of the Word) and apathy, we should be angry at sin (not the sinner), we should be jealous of our time and spend it in prayer and the Word rather than wasting it on fruitless frivolities, and we should mourn when we temporarily lose a loved one even though we know we will be united with them again one day in the future.  In all things we should focus on God’s provision, and as for me, I see God’s provision written all over my so-called terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

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