A Not-So Glad Glad Game

Published 3:55 pm Thursday, March 17, 2011

As I chunked a dollar bill into the lounge drink machine that Monday, I scrolled down with my eyes and, with some deliberation, pressed the button for an orange soda. It was my first day back from an extended weekend stuck in the confines of home.

Stuck? Yep, that's what I was sitting there with all the joys of the classic flu symptoms stretched out on the dual recliner in the den.

Still, though I had not fully regained the use of taste buds and swallowing capabilities, I felt well enough to get back on my feet and drag back to work.

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And I needed a drink. A cold, preferably orange one. But as I leaned forward and pressed the button for the soda, what I got was typical for life at that moment.

I got nothing. The blame machine took my money. Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

It has been a bit of a rough ride in recent weeks. First up, the head gasket on the wife's car blew.

It was the best vehicle of the three in the driveway.

Next, the battery in my car needed replacing.

Then the fuel pump in my old truck the wife had been driving went on the fritz, leaving the extended cab monstrosity in a precarious place in a busy parking lot.

To paraphrase Dad, when things are bad, it goes along like that for a little while and then it gets worse. (He's joking when he says this, of course-well, I really hope he is.)

And it was turning into always seeming like it was something.

I'm really starting to hate “somethings”, “oh by the way's” and the “unexpected”, “unbudgeted”, “unplanned”…

Yep, the drink machine was just a small snapshot of how things were going.

Why, just two days earlier, while I lay there fighting those flu-like symptoms, a burning odor wafted through the air. The wife took note and the frantic search for the culprit was underway.

Our dishwasher had died in what I consider a premature death. We cut the juice to the thing, opened some doors, and flooded in some fresh air.

I hadn't prayed for patience, I convincingly told my wife.

Patience, you see, comes from tribulation and one must be willing to plant the seed to get the fruit. Perhaps, rather than waiting for me to seek it, God had seen fit to offer it on his own?

In any event, the series of events has given me the opportunity to play Pollyanna's Glad Game-or, essentially, see the blessings no matter what befalls us.

So, while it was bad that the dishwasher had died, it was good we were at home when it succumbed.

That the fuel pump didn't die in the middle of Rt. 15, 460, 307 or someplace where my wife and child would be stuck and that we have a mechanic in the family to repair it.

That we caught and replaced the failing car battery before it completely died. Only days earlier, I had driven to Charlottesville.

And the fact that the wife's car is out of commission? Well, we're blessed to still have two vehicles to get about in as we figure all of this stuff out.

See how this works? I was even able to report the loss in the drink machine and got my money back (which I promptly put into the machine and finally was able to get the orange soda.)

Sometimes, it takes a little patience through trails and Pollyanna may be sappy sweet, but she's right: there's much to be thankful for, if we'll just focus our eyes through distress and look for it.

So remember, no matter the predicament, things could always be a little worse, much worse or ever so muchly worse.