Thursday, May 5, 2011

why do we worry?

So I'm sitting in a hotel room waiting for a new credit card my office overnighted to me.  Let me tell you about that...

Monday started off pretty good.  I woke up, went to the chiropractor, gassed up my car and drove off towards Ohio.  I stopped at the Blue Mountain service plaza for more gas and food.  Lunch was, was service plaza lunch.  Roy Rogers burger and a bottle of water.  I drove over to the gas pumps and for some reason, I took my wallet out of the car (which I rarely ever do. Usually I just take the credit card out). I unscrewed my fuel cap and fumbled it.  Yep, dropped it on the ground, the inner pieces, that are apparently pressurized, popped out and the cap rolled under my car.  I put my wallet on the gas pump or on my car, I forget which.  I started the pump and crawled under the passenger side of my car to retrieve the cap.  I looked at the 4 pieces now in my hand and figured out how I thought they went back together.  After filling the tank and replacing the cap I jumped back in the car and drove off.  Yeah, that's right.  I never took my wallet back. I didn't realize it until about 4 or 5 hours later when I stopped for gas again about an hour outside of Columbus.  I tore the car apart looking for my wallet only to realize that it had to be back at the service plaza.  So there I was with no cash, no credit cards and no license or ID of any sort.  And only a quarter tank of gas left.  I kind of freaked out for a minute.  Fortunately, I was able to get my credit cards canceled before there were any charges to them.  My office was able to cancel my work credit card as well.  I got back on the highway and made it to Columbus where we had an employee doing a book buyback.  I just barely made it to a gas station to meet this guy who gave me some cash for gas and food.  Yeah, I was also pretty hungry by this time.  My office was able to book me a hotel room and fax in a credit card.  And they let me stay with no ID.  

Still, I was kind of worried about things.  Mostly that I was driving without a license.  I called Penndot and apparently there is no sort of temporary license that can be printed out for cases like this.  We have temporary registrations, camera cards for expired licenses, but nothing for a lost license.  Then it started to hit me.  Why was I worrying?  Was it really helping?  Was it going to do any good to worry about it?  

I love the passage in Luke 12:
...Then He said to His disciples, "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.  Life is more than food and the body is more than clothing...And which of you by worrying can add one single hour to his life?  If then you are not able to do this little thing, why are you worrying about the rest?"
So I started to look on the bright side.  My cards were canceled and I was issued new ones within hours. My health insurance cards were in my wallet...they are void in four weeks when I leave my job.  I only had a single dollar in cash in my wallet...hopefully if indeed someone took it, that dollar really blessed them.  I hope that they needed it.  It was only a dollar, but I hope that it at least bought them a candy bar or a soda that they may not have bought otherwise.  I'm not being sarcastic here.  I really mean it.  My license was in there and I didn't know if I'd be able to get a new one without having anything to prove that I'm me.  I thought I might have to go back to West Chester and go to a DMV there.  I thought about it and how if I was pulled over for anything the cop could have my license suspended.  Okay.  That's fine.  In 4 weeks I give my car back to my company and don't have a car, so while it would be nice to have a license, I could do without.  Fortunately, I was able to find a DMV right across the OH/PA border the next morning and get a new license.  Luckily, PA keeps all of this stuff on file and after only a one hour wait (which for PA is really good!) I was walking out with a newly printed license.  And I was able to have a really nice chat with the DMV guy working while everything was being printed.  The last thing to take care of was the fuel cap.  Apparently those pieces that popped out are important because the gas cap light stayed on.  But when I called Ford they said it would be okay and an easy fix.  And it was. About $12 bought a new cap and after about 10-20 miles the light went off and all is well.  My office overnighted me a new credit card (with someone else's name to it) for the rest of this week and next that will be here in the next hour or so.  And as for my own company credit card that was canceled, oh well.  It also needed to be canceled in 4 weeks.

As my focus started to shift away from worrying, things began to be okay.  So what if I don't have a wallet right now.  I can get a new one.  Everything was replaceable - easily!  I think that it comes down to a choice.  We can worry about these things if we want to.  But what good will it do?  Was me worrying about driving without a license going to make things different had I been pulled over?  Was worrying that someone made purchases on my credit card going to stop them?  Of course not.  All it was going to do was ruin my day and put my in a bad mood.  But we have the choice to just be at peace.  What will be will be, you know?

Now, that said, I do want to make it clear that not worrying and being careless are NOT the same.  I was driving without a license.  While I was choosing to not worry about it, I was still being a little more careful about my speed and phone use.  I was not worrying about my credit cards, but I still needed to be responsible and cancel them.  By not worrying, I am not suggesting that we be irresponsible and reckless.  I'm just suggesting that we let things be.

I think a great example of this was in October when I flew to Kenya.  Daniel from TI met me at the Nairobi airport.  It took me a little over two hours to get through Customs.  I started to wonder if Daniel had left because I was taking too long.  Maybe he thought my plane was delayed and went back to the hotel.  Maybe he would be upset for having to stand outside the terminal waiting so long for me.  And I had no phone so I couldn't call him.  As I made it through Customs, Daniel was waiting to greet me as he picked up my bag for me.  He wasn't worried about it taking so long.  He knew that him worrying wasn't going to get me through Customs any faster.  I'm not saying that I'm there yet.

I still had a few hours of solid worrying in me.  But I'm working on it.  I'm better than I was last year, and next year I'll be better than this year.

Feel free to share your thoughts and/or stories.

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