How to Beat Murphy's Law
Have you ever had an easy day turn excruciatingly difficult and complicated?
Let’s pretend it’s Friday. The day begins with you slowly opening your eyes from having one of the most incredible sleeps in a long time. As you work to gain consciousness, the morning sun is already straining through the slats of your blinds, filling the room with a heavenly warmth. You briefly close your eyes as your ears begin to make out the distinct sounds of the chirping birds singing happily, melodiously in your backyard. You then glance over towards the nightstand and grin, seeing that you beat the clocks’ antagonizing alarm by just 2 minutes. It’s Friday, thank God…and it’s going to be a great day!
If you have ever remotely identified with the Hundred Acre Woods character Eeyore, than your brain is probably screaming this at the above morning scenario; “Stay in bed! Don’t get up!” And why? I imagine it to be the fact that you’ve lived on this earth longer than a day and you’ve experienced that somehow someway outside that bedroom door, on the easiest of easy, simply fun days, some form of Murphy’s Law awaits you. Oh wait…we don’t believe in that stuff. No, we bounce out of bed knowing that this is the day the Lord has made! We get up, put that smile on, confess this to be a purple-dinosaur-super-de-duper day and drink a pound of our caffeine addiction, knowing that our day will be greater than our greatest day ever! Hey, whatever works right!? I will say that I do believe that the attitude in which you start your day is important and if you’re like me, I try and start every morning with that happy pro-Barney perspective; but honestly, I think I have ended a lot of those simple easy days sounding more like Eeyore, and wishing I could have, should have stayed in bed!
Can anyone relate to ‘those’ kind of days? It should have been easy but ‘stupid’ got a hold of it and turned a good day to awful? Like when it’s the warmest, most gorgeous day of the year and while dreaming about the lake your air conditioner is exploding? Or how about when you planned all week to take some fun outdoor family pictures and on that day moments before the photographer snaps the photo, little miss princess has a screaming fit or junior spits up his lunch all over his shirt? Or maybe you take a planned vacation across the Canadian border only to have your car breakdown, be refused entry, detained, strip searched and interrogated? Or have you ever started your Friday with a special delivery of registered mail and upon opening the package you find documents from Immigration stating that you are an illegal Mexican that the INS is coming to deport? Okay so maybe most of this happens only if your last name is Klassen and you happen to be me! Nonetheless we all go through days where life shouldn’t have turned out the way it did – but it did.
First of all, we’re not alone. I’m reminded of a story in the Bible in Mark chapter 4 where Jesus told his disciples after a grueling long day to get in a boat and row to the other side of the lake. The lake was a sea of glass and the journey quite simple. They all jumped in, Jesus went to sleep at the stern, and away they sailed. As Murphy would have it, as soon as land was out of reach, the Bible says a ‘great windstorm’ arose. In other words there was no way they could make it out alive. The disciples, many of them being pro-fishermen, did all they knew to do to save the boat and themselves, but to no avail; the boat was sinking fast. So as any good Christian would, upon having received direction from God, and having done all they knew to do - they freaked out. They start asking themselves questions about God. How come Jesus doesn’t care? Did He slip into the spirit of Eeyore and decide to stay in bed? This was supposed to be easy! Could He not have warned us that life was going to do this? So as the story goes, they wake Jesus up to tell Him that He doesn’t care enough for them – and as you can imagine, that didn’t settle too well with the Son of God. Jesus yells out for peace and the wind and waves stop. Then Jesus asks his disciples, “Why are you so fearful?” and, “How is it that you have no faith?” Good questions. In other words, it doesn’t make sense to the Lord that when He’s in your boat you would consider calling it quits when life, circumstances, or Murphy’s Law appears forcibly against us.
I guess that’s why the Apostle Paul, a guy who had seen every possible aspect of Murphy’s Law affect his ministry, said this to us the church – “Having done all, stand.” In other words, don’t give up. Don’t give into depression. Don’t back up. Don’t let up. Don’t bail out. Don’t throw in the towel. Just stand. If you’ve got water in your boat and it looks to be sinking, trust that the One who is in your boat isn’t interested in sinking. Sometimes victory means you just have to outlast the storm.