Yesterday I drove for an hour and a half to a meeting that (unbeknown to me) had been cancelled. This was irritating on a number of levels:
I had got up early unnecessarily, driving exacerbates an elbow injury so it got three hours of driving straight through, it meant I lost out financially, I was already tired and could have done without it and I potentially looked like an utter plonker in front of a client.
The organiser was clearly worried that she had made a mistake and I was worried that it was me – either of us could have been at fault. As I drove home I pondered a dilemma; should I hope that I was in the wrong or the organiser. At first I was certainly hoping that she had been wrong, that she had forgotten to let me know. There were good reasons for hoping this – I would look less of a plonker for one.
But then it hit me, I was hoping she had made a mistake, had been incompetent. Why would I hope that about someone? Why would the better result be her getting into trouble for inconveniencing me? Why? Because that way I would save face. I would rather she get into hot water with her boss and colleagues than someone have a poor opinion of me. That felt rather uncomfortable. I resolved to hoping that it was me in the wrong. In this I wasn’t very unsuccessful!
As it turned out, it was my fault, and in a way I was glad. It showed up a couple of things that I have known for a while but keep forgetting – firstly, Jesus was prepared to die for me irrespective of how bad I muck up and since only his opinion matters, I needn’t stress about anything else. And secondly, when we strive for the best thing we often forget the right thing.