The phone just rang, and my husband the LOC* calls out to me from the other room (I've given up trying to cure him of that habit) "Honey, it's E." He knew because we have one of those clever TV thingies that displays caller-ID on the TV screen. (*Lovable Old Coot)
I glanced up at the clock and thought, "Oh, no. Did I get the day wrong?" Oh, yes, I did. You know what they say, that when you retire every day is Saturday.
It was a former colleague calling to ask if we were still on for lunch today - a polite way of saying, "Hey, I'm here at the restaurant, and you are not. Are you coming?"
Boy, do I feel silly. Truly. I am a stickler for never being late, much less completely missing a scheduled appointment. My dad ingrained that in me, always saying, "If you are five minutes early you are on time. If you are just on time, you are already late." ???? (I know, I know. Overkill.)
So here I am, at a little past noon, in the same jeans and T-shirt I gardened in about 7:00 this morning, with my bare feet and my barefaced embarrassment. E. was very gracious, and we are rescheduled for tomorrow, same time, same place as today. But I am chagrined.
This has only happened to me one other time in my whole life, and it was waaay worse, as my grand kids would say. Small wonder it has never reoccurred until now. I just about died from humiliation that time.
I was the scheduled speaker for an evening event about eighty miles north of where we lived at the time. I had two young sons, a full time job, and a volunteer position that was at least half time. Additionally, I did public speaking engagements from time to time, mainly for the sheer fun of it. So I have no explanation for what happened except maybe I was a little over-extended.
On the evening in question, I awoke from a sound sleep about midnight, with a gasp and an out-loud "Oh, no." My heart was thudding as I tried to come to grips with the fact that I had been scheduled to speak that evening in another town and had completely forgotten it.
Next morning I called the event host, apologized all over myself, and said I had no excuse except human frailty - I forgot. He, too, was gracious and even invited me to come speak at an upcoming event instead. (He had also filled in for me when I "no-showed".)
So a few weeks later, I went, apologized in person for my prior no-show, and gave what I hoped was a good presentation. Ten years later a young woman ran up to me just as I was entering a mall and said, "Excuse me, didn't you used to be Marsha____?"
I smiled and said, "I think I still am. Can I help you?"
She told me she had heard me speak that evening ten years earlier, and she recited the title of the speech and the primary points I had used, and then said, "I just wanted to thank you. You changed my life that night."
Whoa! I was speechless. Talk about God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. He had done the changing, I was just the messenger.
Today's little peccadillo reminded me of my own frailty, and got me to wondering what God's up to this time. Guess I'll just have to trust Him and be patient to find out. And that's okay, too.
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Question: Have you ever forgotten a commitment? What happened?