Monday, October 15, 2007

The Backpack Misadventure

I went through a great deal of worry and aggravation today over a relatively minor thing.

My ten-year old ran a cross-country race after school at a New York State Park. I had my six- and eight- year-olds bring their backpacks so they could get their homework done while waiting.

After the race, I wanted to hurry out of there to beat the rush hour traffic. I was feeling pretty good about getting on the road by 4:30, and was making good time.

At around 4:50, something made me ask about their homework and “You did bring your backpacks, correct?”

The answer was no.

Horrified, I made a hasty exit from the Long Island Expressway and reversed directions. Watching the traffic build up in the direction we had just come from, I said, “That’s what we’re going to have to sit in on the way back. And we were making such good time!”

I was very angry.

Forty-five minutes later, I was in the park. From the parking lot I could see the table where we had been sitting. It was totally bare. We got out of the car and searched the ground, the garbage cans, and the dumpster. I imagined having to explain this to the school and order new books.

I prayed that someone from the cross-country team had taken the bags and that there would be a message on our telephone machine to that effect.

At 5:30, we were back at the exit where we had originally made our turn-around. “We could be eating dinner right now,” I complained.

We finally pulled into the driveway at 6:00. Sure enough, there was a message from the coach’s wife that a family had taken the bags home for us. I called them, and the father graciously offered to bring our bags to us! I thanked him and said no, but we would be greatly obliged if his daughter could bring the bags with her to school in the morning. “No problem,” he said.

I wrote notes to the teachers explaining why the children were coming to school empty-handed and that the bags would be arriving momentarily. Meanwhile, my older daughter became excited about delivering the bags to her siblings’ classrooms and meeting their teachers.

When my husband arrived home, I wearily explained what had transpired. “Well, everything turned out all right then!” he responded.

“But it might not have.”

“But it did.”

We go over this same territory now and then, he explaining why I should not be worried and upset over “what could have been”.

“I always expect the worst could happen,” he says, “The thing is to be aware and prepared to react when they do.”

I know he is right, and this thinking is quite consistent with Jesus’ teaching. We are to be sober and wakeful; yet not to be worried and anxious, but trusting in Him. This is a lesson that has been a lifetime in the learning for me.

Unfailing Prayer to Saint Anthony

Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints.

O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God
and Charity for His creatures made you worthy, when on
earth, to possess miraculous powers. Miracles waited on
your word, which you were ever ready to speak for those in
trouble or anxiety. Encouraged by this thought, I implore
of you to obtain for me (request). The answer to my prayer
may require a miracle. Even so, you are the saint of

O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full
of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the
Sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms, and
the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours.

Amen. (Say 13 Paters, Aves, and Glorias)

When something is lost, the simple prayer goes:

St. Anthony, St. Anthony
Please come down
Something is lost
And can't be found


Joanna said...

Oh, Me Tooooo!!!

Joanna said...

It is funny how situations like this can really bring things back into perspective. I am challenged to remember how blessed I am even in annoying or tough situations and take a lesson from them. Yay!