Life is Like a Pinball Game

Forest Gump’s life might be like a box of chocolates, but mine would better be described as a pinball game.

I have clear goals and know where I want to go; yet, there are bumps in the road, distractions, and surprises along the way. The pinball rarely takes a clear path to the top.

vp-hoodFor instance, as pulled into the parking lot at 7:00AM this morning, thanks to two cups of strong coffee and a pretty good night’s sleep, I was feeling energized. Today the installation of a new hood would begin in the Village Project kitchen. Reflecting upon the generosity and kindness of the many individuals who came together to donate and install our much needed, hood, I felt humbled and blessed. I had that warm feeling in my soul, the kind that makes you want to sing.  Can you hear it? – “It’s a beautiful day. . .”

The day in front of me, I pictured the contractors busily working in the kitchen, me organizing my desk and working on a grant. If all went well the contractors would complete phase one of the job by 4:00PM, my desk would be neat and tidy resembling a photo out of “Successful Business” magazine and the grant would be completed, copied, and mailed. By 5:00PM I would be home preparing a gourmet meal ready to enjoy on the patio with my husband.

Ah, then life happened. Have you ever known a large construction project to go seamlessly?  No, there are always those unexpected surprises. The unforeseen discoveries made when walls are opened, electrical panels evaluated, and gas lines rerouted. By 8:30AM, several issues had come to light. The pinball launched with clear direction was sliding downward, no paddles in sight to intercept. The pile of papers on my desk was set aside and the grant folder was placed back in the drawer.

By early afternoon, I’d bounced between calls to several utility companies, placed pleas of help with contractors, and had several conversations with the patient workers installing the hood. Everyone was incredibly kind and helpful and by 2:00PM I was back at my desk. I hadn’t gotten any closer to organizing my desk or writing grants, but I was still in the game; propelled back toward my objectives.

As the clock chirped 3:00PM, the top of my desk was gaining visibility beneath the paperwork. But wait, my clock doesn’t chirp – that was my text message. Checking my phone I realize I had not one text message, but eight!  Somehow in the midst of the morning mayhem, I had missed more than a half dozen text messages. Yikes!

Messages came from volunteers, family, donors, and clients; all important, all needing immediate responses. Pushing aside my diminishing work pile, I began answering text messages, scribbling notes, pulling folders and adding to the disarray on my desk.

No need to continue to describe my day, you get the idea. As I closed the door at 7:00PM, my desk looked slightly messier than it did that morning and the grant file remained closed. To some, my day may have seemed a failure, a disappointment, totally unproductive; however, to write the day off, would be unfair.

Reflecting on the past 12 hours I had to smile. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by awesome people. The utility companies who addressed concerns, the contractors who worked us into their busy schedules, the hood installers who assured all would work out and those numerous text messages that helped me realign my focus. Text messages from clients thanking us for our services, donors offering financial assistance, volunteers providing updates, and family just checking in; yes, I am truly blessed.

At the end of the day, desks can be functional while cluttered, grants do not have to be written in a single day, and interruptions are often a blessing.

Tomorrow is another day and I can’t wait to see how God reroutes my plans and continues to allow me to see Him at work.

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