Faced With Challenges: What Would You Do?
In the previous post, How Do You Handle Challenges When Everything is Going Wrong?, I placed you in a real life story. In that post I asked you to consider the following questions:
- What would I have done that was the same as in the story?
- What would I have handled differently?
- Who would I have held responsible for what happened in the story?
- What lessons did I learn regarding challenges, obstacles, adversity, and accountability?
- What did I take away from the story?
- What lessons will I apply to my life from the story?
Where Your Challenges Began
Here is a summary of what transpired:
- You went to the wrong set of gates for your flight to St. Croix for a wedding you were attending the next day (Oh yeah, I left that out in the previous post)
- You ran to the correct terminal, but could no longer access your mobile boarding pass because you missed the check-in time and the picture you thought you took of the pass was MIA
- You sent your traveling companion off to catch the plane without you (she had a picture of her boarding pass)
- You got placed on stand-by for the next flight out
- You were persistent, not giving up on your original flight – way to put faith in action
- You ran from security to your gate with your shoes, belt, and bag in hand
- You made your flight
- You were gracious to the airport and flight staff and apologetic to the people on your flight
- You looked in your bag to discover that…
- You ran away from security leaving behind your laptop
Piling on the Challenges
You may have thought it cruel of me ending the story there. No worries. As promised, here is how the story ends. Let’s start at where the story ended last week, then continue from there.
Flight attendants stand smiling as you walk through the doors of the plane, then you graciously thank everyone, God and Jesus. You even apologize to the people on the plane, believing you were holding them up from leaving.
You spot your companion who you believed you would be meeting several hours later at your final destination.
You take your seat.
You delight in being reunited with your companion much sooner than expected, then open up your bag.
You don’t want to see what you see, but your eyes are not playing tricks on you.
How Do You Handle Your New Reality?
Your lips move, but you’re barely audible.
To confirm that she had not heard you, your companion asks, “What?”
You make the inside of your bag visible to her, then show her the contents of your bag as you softly say, “No laptop.”
As if the reality of what had happened finally hit you, you pop out of your seat and say louder, “My laptop!”
You race to the front of the plane, still only wearing your socks, no belt, so your pants that are three sizes too big for you nearly falling off. (You like being comfortable when you travel)
Panicked this time, you tell the flight attendants you left your laptop at security.
How Does Graciousness Work Out for You?
With expressions of understood concern they look at the closed plane doors. Then one says, “They have pulled the jetway away.”
The other attendant tells the pilot about your laptop. Without hesitation he picks up a phone.
As you and the two flight attendants look at him anxiously, you begin to shake and be filled with dread.
You tell the attendants not to worry about it. “This is my fault. It started with me not paying attention to the gate. Please, I do not want to delay these people any further.”
As you stand pleading with the attendants, the pilot turns and says, “She has it.”
In your mind you’re thinking, “She who?”
You look for confirmation. As if reading your mind a flight attendant says, “The agent that let you in has it.”
One of the flight attendants tells you she will give you a number you can call when you land in Miami, your layover destination.
You thank the pilot, flight attendants, God and Jesus, and again apologize to your fellow passengers, then return to your seat.
What Will Happen Next?
You sit in your seat processing what will it take to get your laptop back, how you now cannot do the work you had planned to do. How the two month old 15 inch MacBook Pro was replaceable, but wondering if anything with your personal information was on your laptop.
The plane starts pulling back.
You go numb.
Out of the corner of your eye you realize someone is standing diagonally in front of you.
You look up.
Your eyes see a silver square with an apple peaking through a light gray cover.
You look at the woman holding YOUR laptop.
“How did you get…? you ask, puzzled, as the plane continues to roll backwards.
The woman smiles broadly, then responds, “Magic.”
What Do You Do When Obstacles Mount?
That is where the story of your challenges and obstacles end, at least for now. We face challenges and obstacles in life. Not every story ends with a happy ending, but every story in our lives has something to offer.
As mentioned in previous posts, what matters is how you handle challenges and obstacles when they arise.
This story tells us our challenges and obstacles offer us the following:
- Opportunities to learn – listen to them.
- Opportunities to try again – be persistent. A little faith helps too.
- Opportunities to practice graciousness – show it.
- Blame starts by looking in the mirror – be accountable for your actions.
As for me, I will make extra sure to pay attention to my gate.
A Happy Ending
The best news as is that we made it to St. Croix for our friend’s wedding. That was the true happy ending.