Michelle Martin

When you least expect it

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

It’s always the things you don’t expect that come back and bite you.

I guess that makes sense; if you expect something to be a problem, you watch out and guard against it.

For me this week, the issue was with Teresa’s day camp. Or the lack thereof, as the case may be.

We registered Teresa for day camp way back in March — March 26, according to the receipt that still lives in my email. I signed her up for eight weeks of day camp that day. Or I thought I did.

It turned out she was only registered for seven weeks, which I should have known by the simple fact that they charged me $350 that day — a deposit of $50 per week for seven weeks, not eight.

But I just counted the line items and saw eight, not noticing that one week had no deposit attached.

It turned out that for that week – for the week just past — she was put on the waiting list. I was sure the camp was still available when I filled out the registration form; we must have been just minutes too late. In any case, I had no clue until Tony went to drop her off on Monday morning and there was no space for her there or in any of the other camps the organization runs.

I give both of them credit for not getting too upset while we tried to come up with a Plan B on the fly. Tony brought her home, I left a message for the camp director asking if she could be admitted if anyone didn’t turn up for camp, a friend generously offered a last-minute playdate for the afternoon so Tony could at least get a half-day of work in (he had to wait for Frank to get home with his car, which is another story).

By the afternoon, the camp director had called back and said they had space for Teresa for the rest of the week, and everything moved on from there.

The whole mess could have been avoided if only I had paid more attention three months ago, but it’s always something you don’t expect.

The same applies to our spiritual lives. The things we know we need to work on we pay close attention to. The little things we let slide, that fly under our radar, that fade into the background of our lives can come back to cause us problems. After all, most of the Israelites of Jesus’ time thought they were doing fine, too.

That doesn’t mean that when you realize you’ve completely missed something that things are hopeless. It just means you have to do what you can to correct it, make a Plan B, and remember to pay a little more attention going forward.

Because it’s never the things you are looking for that come back to get you.