Friday, May 30, 2008

A Strange--But True--Story

It all started with Tony Gungy. I'd gotten back into audio books and was looking for something I could listen to in the car that was okay for the boys to listen to, too. Quiet Strength it was.

I checked it out a few weeks ago. I'd had it in the car for a week or so, the case beside me on the passenger seat so I could switch out CDs with ease. One day I took a sharp turn, and the case slipped off the seat and landed--I was pretty sure--in between the seat and the door.

I never saw it again.

I'm so lazy, it was a couple of days before I even bothered to look. It was gone. I looked under the seats, in the glove compartment, in the back and the way back. I even looked in the floorboard storage space, thinking maybe Will had hidden it there as a joke. Nope. Not there.

I figured it had fallen out of the car, and now I was going to have to pay for it. Fabulous.

Two days later, getting ready for a trip to the library, I realized I couldn't find one of Will's books, Nate the Great and the Stolen Base. I looked for it in the car (knowing it wouldn't be there, since I'd searched the car several times for Quiet Strength and would have seen Nate the Great). I looked in the mud room and in the bag of coloring books and crayons we carry to Tae Kwon Do so that Will has something to do during Jack's lesson. Not there.

I felt weird about losing everything. I felt irritated that all my spending money was going to be spent on replacing library books. I felt a kind of general anxiety, the way I do when I'm worried about stuff that's out of my control.

So I took a little piece of paper and wrote "Tony Dungy and Nate the Great," and I put the paper in a box.

At Christmas, my mother-in-law gave me a set of nesting boxes, and recently I decided to use the smallest ones for prayers. That is is, I write down stuff that's bothering me or feels out of control and I put it in the box. And the funny thing is, once I've written something down and put it in the box, I stop worrying about it. I don't assume that my prayers will be answered to my liking--it's not a wish box--but I believe that whatever I'm worrying about will be resolved.

Fast forward a week. I get another audio book out of the library--Elizabeth Edwards' Saving Graces. This is on a Tuesday (May 20th, to be precise). I listen to it in the car on Tuesday and Wednesday, listen to something else on Thursday. On Friday, as we're getting in the car to go to Tae Kwon Do, I think I'll listen to Saving Graces while we drive. I get in the car. Look for the case in the passenger seat.

It's not there.

Have I mentioned that the only place I don't lock my car doors is in my own driveway? Every place else, I lock. But when I get home, never.

Somebody has been stealing from my car. Someone has walked up my long, dark, gravel driveway in the middle of the night to rummage through my car for stuff to steal. What else can explain not one, but three missing items?

This is upsetting, but what can you do (except lock your car, which I immediately make a habit of)? I'm not happy that someone is robbing my car, but I'm not particularly worried they'll start robbing my house, which is securely alarmed.

And at least now I know that the stuff is gone for good. The situation has been resolved, right?

And then last Tuesday, the phone rings. It's the library. When I turned in Quiet Strength last Friday, May 23rd, a few of the CDs were missing. Could I bring them the next time I come in?

Only thing is, I didn't go to the library last Friday. I volunteered at Field Day at Jack's school. I took Jack to Tae Kwon Do. The one thing I didn't do was go to the library.

Two minutes later, the phone rings again. Library. When I turned in Saving Graces last Friday, one of the CDs was missing. Could I bring it the next time I come in?

I have no idea how those audio books got back to the library--to the correct branch of the library, no less. The only guess I'd care to hazard is that they got stolen from my car, and when the thief realized they had no resale value because of the missing CDs, he (or she) dumped them, and some good Samaritan found them and returned them to the library.

Or else my husband did it, in hopes of teaching me a lesson about not locking my car at night. Except my husband isn't the lesson-teacher type. He's more the type just to get irritated with you straight out. And he says he didn't do it.

Oh, by the way, Nate the Great showed up a couple of days later, stuffed in the dark, messy recesses of Will's book case.

You could argue that all this stuff turning back up had nothing to do with me writing down my little prayer and putting it in the box. And maybe it didn't. Surely God has better things to do with His time than returning library books. But I can't help but wondering: What if I hadn't put that note in the box?

Ah, sweet mysteries of life ...

1 comment:

Victoria said...

Forgot to tell you - "opshop" is the Australian name for thrift store or charity store.