I don’t wake up everyday with undying faith and a steadfast belief that everything the bible says is true. I don’t even wake up everyday believing 100% of the story of Christ. I have questions I don’t have the answers to.
Last night we had a huge rainstorm and in true Texas style, got 7 inches in a few hours. I sell new homes in a community under construction. First thing this morning, I got a message from an elderly neighbor that her trash can had floated off into one of the retention ponds. She sent me the photo below. What you don’t see, is that it’s at the bottom of a steep, slippery incline and you have to climb over a 7ft pile of sand, a waist high guardrail then scale a makeshift stone wall surrounded by poison ivy and all sorts of undesirables to get down there. It’s amazing the trashcan made it. She had no idea how to retrieve it and neither did I.
On top of that, I was supposed to be getting ready for a contract appointment and I didn’t even know which retention pond it was in- didn’t have the buyers address- and I wondered whether I was even strong enough to lift it out by myself- Not to mention whether I could lift it without actually wadding into the muck myself! Not that I mind getting dirty. I’m not prissy; Just practical. There was 8 hours left in my work day. And another thought-Will there be snakes? Having almost stepped on numerous vipers in my career, let me say, I’m not a fan. The problems were multiple.
So naturally I told her- No problem! I’ll go get it. Not a single ounce of hesitation. I didn’t have a plan. I just knew based on experience that things like this tend to work themselves out. I would answer questions one step at a time on my way down to the water.
Maybe I’ve got this- maybe I don’t. As we say in Texas- I was fixin’ to find out! So I went up the sand, over the fence and down the slippery slope. It really wasn’t that bad. Then I wobble/balanced my way across the stone wall that seemed remarkably stable considering it was held together by nothing but chain link. I concentrated on not tripping on the chain.
On my way across the wall, I imagined falling. Imagined the rocks breaking loose from their binding and us all tumbling down together. I calculated potential physical damage. I made up headlines: “She died face down in a retention pond, while trying to retrieve a trash can.” Topped the list, but I wasn’t concerned; not really. One. Step. At. A. Time.
Finally I was standing before the trash can when I saw the one thing that could have made a difference to my perspective, the thing I was too far away to see before. The thing I hadn’t looked close enough to observe in the photo. The ONE THING that would have boosted my faith in this WHOLE endeavor: A ledge! A foot hold down in the pond just above waters height. It was a perfect step to get down in there and lift the can out without getting in the muck- a miracle! After that it was all down…er.. uphill, across the rocks (that just happened to be the perfect width for her can). Until I was standing at the wall and I pushed her can that fit magically (to the inch) under. It was all good. I put it back in the yard and walked back up the hill to my office to prepare for the rest of my day, thinking about how much simpler that was than I thought it would be.
I know I don’t have all the answers. I know I’m either too close, or too far away to see the ledge. I KNOW- I don’t know! But I’m not worried. It’s all just one step at a time. And I’ll walk down to the waters edge.