Have you ever had one of those embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions at a public event or important ceremony? Ever split your pants on the dance floor or showed up to a wedding in the same dress as someone else? Well last week I had a very close call.
I had a black tie event in Sydney for all of the Principals from the large independent schools in the state. I packed my best suit, shined my shoes and was set to impress as I represented Cedars. However, when I arrived in my hotel room and unpacked my bag I realised that I had not packed my belt. Now that might not sound like a big deal, but I had recently lost a little weight and I definitely needed a belt to keep my pants up.
In a bit of a panic and far from home, in an area I did not know well at all, I decided to go for a walk to see if any shops were around. All I could find close by was a Woolworths and a Bunnings. I only had an hour to get a belt and although I was confident I could get one from Bunnings I didn’t think that a belt with pouches for a hammer, some nails, and a set of pliers was the best look to go with my suit, so I headed to Woolworths to try my luck.
Well Woolworths had no belts believe it or not, and as I was standing in the stationery aisle contemplating whether or not to make an offer for the belt on the bloke packing shelves beside me, I had an idea. I looked down at the hessian surf belt I was wearing with my shorts, then I looked up at the permanent markers. I looked back at the belt, then back at the markers and thought, ‘Yep, I can do this, no one will notice’. So with the now ridiculous, but at the same time desperate, thought of colouring in my belt I grabbed a black permanent marker and started heading for the checkout.
It wasn’t until I got back to my hotel room, marker in hand, ready to start colouring that I pulled my phone out of my pocket. There it was. My light bulb moment. ‘Why don’t you search for shopping centres in Google Maps,’ I thought to myself. So with 20 minutes to go that is exactly what I did. And guess what? There was a Westfield just around the corner.
To cut a long story short, as I was purchasing a nice new black leather belt from Myer, I stood there annoyed with myself thinking, ‘Why didn’t you do this in the first place?’ Perhaps it is because I am not as young as I think I am, and using technology may not come as naturally to me as it does to a teenager, but what is more likely is that I panicked and rushed into finding a solution without thinking first.
I’m sure we all do this in life from time to time. Something unexpected may happen where we react too quickly and we try to do something to fix it but it doesn’t quite work out. Or maybe we get ourselves into a situation that is as embarrassing as showing up to a black tie ball with a hessian surf belt coloured in with black permanent marker.
In my case it was Google Maps that had the big picture – the bird’s eye view that could solve my problem, but I was too busy panicking to stop and check it. In our lives God always sees the big picture. When we stop to ask Him for a solution or have faith that He has it in hand, we will find the best result. But when we try to find a solution on our own without thinking it through, focussing on what is directly in front of us rather than trying to see the big picture, we may end up in a difficult or embarrassing situation.
My belt illustration is not intended to trivialise difficulties we might face in life, but merely to encourage you to stop, think and pray before you act. Remember, God sees the big picture, the bird’s eye view. He knows what is best for you and how to help you make the right decision.
So let’s involve Him in the process.
“For the Lord gives wisdom, from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.”