That was my conversation with God today. Well, not so much a conversation as it was a frustrated interrogative directed His way.
I look at my life and the blessings that fill it and I realize I am the last person in the world with any reason to complain, but there are times when the bad day rolls along and catches me completely off guard.
It’s bad enough I had to deal with technical issues with my work laptop; the encryption/security client doing so good a job I couldn’t logon. That meant I had to leave the cozy confines of my home office and drive ALL the way to work (8.5 miles) and sit on hold and wait for the ‘not the sharpest knife in the drawer’ help desk guy in India, only so I can tell him, “Can you please transfer me to the help desk in Tampa because I already know you can’t help me with my problem?” Irony of all ironies, the help desk is literally across the hall from my cubicle at work. I could walk over and knock on the door.
So after finally dealing with that and at least being able to logon to my laptop, my boss decided to flood my Inbox with invites to meeting after meeting after meeting. I sat through five, 30-minute meetings about some initiative about something or other, and listened to some guy talk about I don’t know what. I wasn’t able to pay much attention because I was dialed into those calls on my cell phone because I was by then talking to second-level support at the help desk on my desk phone. The root cause of my encryption/security software issue was not resolved, and I needed to speak to one of only four human beings on the planet that had the proper administrative authority to reset the security certificate on my PC.
This fiasco was further complicated because my boss needed me to compile a summary of the various projects I’m managing, and she needed the data in an hour. Normally not a problem, but this day wasn’t any kind of normal.
Finally able to come up for air, I just happened to check my bank account information on my lunch hour. I was just looking to see if a deposit I made had already cleared. What I did find, however, was that my most recent direct deposit from work was significantly less than normal. Talk about a WTF moment! Long story short, the state of New York decided to withhold income taxes on the money I earned while working there as part of my work stoppage assignment back in August. When I was first sent on assignment, I was told I would not have to pay taxes for the first 15 days. Counting the one day off I was granted, my assignment lasted 14 days. Turns out, someone changed their mind somewhere along the way, and about 1/3 of my net paycheck was withheld last week as a result. Yes … 1/3. Yes …. ouch. Let’s just say I could’ve made a couple of car payments with that chunk of change.
So, in my frustration, I reached out to my wife. No answer. I waited and called again. Still no answer. Text and DM. Nothing. Turns out she was in the middle of her own WTF moment at work.
I DM’d a friend of mine with the following message. “Please say a little prayer for me. This is one of those days when I look up at God, arms out, and say, ‘WTF, dude?'” She responded with kind and assuring words, and then later sent me a link to this beautiful blog by Jamie Wright. It was perfectly serendipitous and exactly what I needed to put it all in perspective. It was smart, witty, and amazingly funny. It was, in the end, God talking to me through Jamie and my friend.
“Who you call’n dude, son?”
This all reminds me of the story of how the band Godsmack got their name. One day lead singer Sully Erna was making fun of a band member with a cold sore on his lip. The very next day, Erna showed up to rehearsal with a cold sore of his own. The rest of the band said it was God smacking him for making fun of his friend. I think Jamie’s blog was God smacking me as a reminder there’s always someone out there that has it a million times worse than I do. And that’s the awesome thing about God. He sometimes uses tough love to remind us how amazing His grace truly is.
I started out questioning God. Funny how He always takes the time to answer.