A Missed Opportunity


There we were at the Better Homes and Gardens yard sale. Kelsey had found one heck of deal on an organic wood clothing rack. We paid a whopping $1 for the thing and now we were left to figure out how to get it into our Jeep. The piece was only held together with drywall screws, so it was time to play MacGyver and use the resources around us.

Wood Clothing Rack

We tried a few different strategies:

  1. Begging: I asked everyone around us who was also loading large items into their vehicles if they had a power drill. One guy had a hand screwdriver...
  2. Muscle it: Try as I might, I could not get the screws to come loose with the hand screwdriver and I was developing a cramp in my hand and a lot of sweat equity into this clothing rack. I returned the screwdriver with a look of disappointment on my face and semi-stripped screws still embedded in the wood clothing rack.
  3. Race the clock: We had to be at Myah and Maysen's birthday party at 11 and we were soon running out of time. We could leave the clothing rack downtown, drive back to Waukee (at least 20 minutes), grab my drill, drive back downtown, disassemble the rack, load the pieces in the Jeep and head up to Ames. There was not quite enough time for us to do that.
  4. Tetris: We tried a few different ways of forcing the monstrosity into our Jeep, but nothing was working and we were both sweating at this point. It was quite muggy.
  5. Phone a friend: OK, I sucked in my pride and called my buddy Doug. He lives a little closer to downtown, so we gave it a shot. And, Doug came to the rescue. We were just left to wait for him to arrive with his power drill.

Here's where we missed an opportunity:

We walked across the street to wait for the handoff from Doug. It would probably take him about 30 minutes get downtown as he had to charge his drill. Our timing was going to be tight, but we were out of options at this point (or so we thought).

Across the street, where we were waiting, there was some construction going on and one of the workers walked by and said hello. Friendly enough for someone working on a Saturday morning. As we stood there, another 10 minutes went by and he walked by again. "Beautiful day, huh? You guys OK. Need anything? A water perhaps?" We politely said "No, thanks, we are just waiting for a friend, and he is on his way."

A while later, this man walked by a third time and paused to tell us a story about the owners of Meredith Corporation. It was a great story, and this guy was so genuinely friendly.

Anyone pick up on the missed opportunity yet?

It only took me two days to realize it. That very nice man took time to stop and talk to us three times. He even asked us if we needed anything. He was working for a construction company, who I guarantee had a power drill around there somewhere close. We just weren't comfortable enough to let this nice man into our lives and tell him about our situation.

Had we taken the time to explain that we needed a power drill for 30 seconds to take apart our newly purchased clothing rack, I am sure he would have obliged or probably even taken it apart for us. Silly us for not saving our friend Doug a trip downtown.

All of this got me thinking about how often I shrug off God out of fear of being uncomfortable when He is nudging me to do something or say something. This situation made me aware of the fact that I need to take time to slow down from the day-to-day hustle and bustle and tune in to the direction God is trying to lead me.

Have you ever missed an opportunity like this?