No Pasa Nada

(Written last night, 1:46am EDT)

As I’m flying to Seattle after a day… err… a week of total unpredictability, I just finished reading a chapter of a book I’ve struggled to read since late-2013. It’s entitled The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing, by Jeff Goins. It was recommended by one of my favorite authors, Mark Batterson. I have other books I’m currently reading but somehow I opened this book again for some unknown reason.

The timing of what was written on the pages I just read and what seems to be happening in my life at this very moment is uncanny. As you may have read in an earlier post, my wife Sharon broke her foot a scant 96 hours prior to us departing on an Alaskan cruise vacation. The vacation was (is) well-planned because, after all, I’m a supreme planner. I love to plan! I plan vacations, I plan 3-week-long motorcycle trips, I make business plans, I create marketing plans… I love to plan! I’m good at it and it normally pays off.

But my wife breaks her foot and it disrupts “the plan”. My reaction, as previously posted, was deplorable. Okay… confessed and forgiven. We flew from Charlottesville to Philadelphia and because of an amazing series of storms up the east coast (not to mention an approaching hurricane), all flights were grounded. Our five and a half hour layover in Philly – on the way to Seattle – turned into a 12-hour marathon of watching our flight status and human nature in the laboratory called Philadelphia International Airport.

We are airborne over Ohio, I’m guessing, and I read a quick story about the author’s experience in Spain as a college student one summer. He says:

“They have a phrase — ‘no pasa nada’ — which literally means ‘nothing happens.’ It’s similar to the American phrase ‘no big deal.’ Late for a meeting? No pasa nada. Need to skip class today to take care of a personal issue? No pasa nada. Such a cultural mindset was freeing; and the more of it I experienced, the more I wanted. And although it took months of rebellion before I could succumb to this laid-back way of life, that little expression eventually saved me. There was a power to those words, a potency in embracing the unexpected. That simple, carefree little phrase taught me to let go of my little plans in exchange for a bigger picture. It meant being able to laugh at myself at times and accept when things didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped.”

When I read those words somewhere over who-knows-where, I almost couldn’t believe it! God has created a perfect storm of sorts in order to speak the words “No pasa nada” into my life. Embracing the unexpected.

Sounds like a plan.

Humble pie

I wonder what the Lord is trying to teach me…

Last October, I made plans and surprised Sharon on our 15th wedding anniversary with an Alaskan cruise this summer with Inspiration Cruises. I planned it with a couple extra days in Seattle before the cruise to sightsee and a couple of days after the cruise as well. Being an Inspiration Cruise, I planned the excursions and even signed up for the “Choir Track” for Sharon. She gets to practice with Michael W. Smith and perform with him with the rest of the choir in an onboard concert and in a concert in Juneau, Alaska. The cruise also features David Jeremiah, Phillips, Craig, and Dean, Nicole Nordeman, Scott Hamilton and others. It is going to be fabulous. I used miles/points and we’re flying free to Seattle and back. We even arranged for Sharon’s son, Adam, to be in town to house-sit and dog-sit for Bella. It was all well-planned, if I do say so myself.

This past Sunday, Sharon stumbled coming down some steps at church and badly sprained her foot. It’s the same foot which she injured two years ago in an anniversary trip to San Francisco. We went to Med-Express Sunday afternoon, they took X-rays and found nothing broken. They prescribed rest, ice, compression, and elevation. That’s what you do with any sprain. And we walked out of there with Sharon on crutches. We iced it for two days and Sharon tried packing for the trip. She did virtually all of her packing and then rested it and iced it some more.

Yesterday morning, she could barely move and her other leg hurt from favoring her injured one so much. I didn’t see how she was… we were… going on this trip.

I was mad. I wasn’t sure who or what I was mad at, but I was mad. Mad at Sharon (it’s not her fault!), mad that I didn’t purchase trip insurance, mad that all the planning for sightseeing was going to be spent driving around in the car… or worse, we weren’t going at all.

She called an sceduled an appointment with Orthepedic Associates at Augusta Health. They did x-rays as well, which were negative, prescribed the same rest, ice, compression, and elevation, and sent her to get an “air-cast” to stabilize the foot. She walked on it and now thinks she can handle the trip.

I am so wretched and so self-centered. All I could think of was how it all was going to affect me and MY plans. Life happens. Accidents happen. Stuff happens. It’s how you react that matters. I didn’t react so well. I didn’t pass this test.

I don’t want another one.

(We leave late morning. Sharon has the air-cast on her foot. I’m bloated from eating humble pie)