If you know me, you know I lose things. If you really know me this has affected you to an annoying, possibly upsetting, degree at some point in our relationship. I’ve had laptops, bikes, guitars, and iPods stolen from me. Several of those because I left them somewhere overnight. I know… who does that right? Bryce Cooley does that. This primarily happens when I am in a rush or very tired. I become so focused on the next thing on my to do list that I forget other things happening around me. I don’t pay attention to where I place my keys, whether I locked my bike, whether I’ve grabbed my $1500 laptop – I just go on to my next thing.
My most recent failure was about 3 weeks ago. In an effort to love my lady I went to get her oil changed. Typically when I go to places where you have to wait around for awhile I try to think of other things to do. Perhaps I should just be patient and learn to sit around. Anyways, a lot of times when I drop off my car for an oil change, I bring along a bike so I can go on a bike ride, run errands, do whatever while my car is being worked on.
Over a year ago my bike was stolen outside of Wells Fargo. I went inside for a minute and a half and while I was in there someone stole my bike. Because of that, whenever I want to ride I need to borrow my parents’ bike. So, I borrowed my dad’s bike to run errands. I had a bike lock and helmet. If I were to hashtag my level of preparedness I would say #legal #safeandsmart #lawabidingcitizen #notthemoviewithJamieFoxx (<- get it?). Long story short, I ran my errands, rode back, picked up our Forerunner, and went home. The following day, I was driving home from work and remembered I needed to return my dad’s bike. I looked in the rearview mirror and there was no bike. I turned around, no bike. Have you ever physically felt an emotional stress? For me it wells up in my stomach, I lose all energy, my eyes glaze over and I begin to retrace my steps. The last time I remembered my bike was at the oil change shop yesterday. I called, the guy on the phone hadn’t seen it, he said he would call back after talking to his employees. I never got a call back…
When you’re used to making mistakes like I am you get used to owning up to your mistakes. None of that “I’m sorry, but…” garbage – a true apology acknowledging your mistake and accepting the consequences. I called my dad, told him what happened, apologized, and told him I would buy him a new bike. My dad, being a great man of God, reminded me that God watches over us. I know that, but in that moment – pit in my stomach, loss of energy, glazed over – I had forgotten it. We talked for a while and prayed. Honestly, on my end these prayers were pitiful. Basically “God, please protect me from my own idiocy, return my dad’s bike to me.” I’d love to tell you that in faith I prayed believing God could and would return my dad’s bike but I didn’t. I didn’t believe it and I was distraught.
I went to the work the following day carrying that weight and sharing my story because it’s not a pity party if you don’t invite others. I was talking to my boss Dan and he asked “Have you called them back today to see if it’s there?” I hadn’t. I assumed that because I didn’t get a call back they didn’t have. But It’s always good to check so I called.
Me: “Hey I called yesterday because I left my bike outside your shop while my Forerunner was being worked on.”
Worker: “Is your bike green?”
Me: “Yes! Is it a trek?”
Worker: “We have it, it’s right here!”
Turns out someone tried to steal it. A bystander saw this happening, yelled at the guy, and questioned him. The person that tried to steal my bike ran off and the bystander took my dad’s bike home and returned it the following day. Turns out people can be awesome! I couldn’t believe it. God answered my pitiful prayer. God looked out for me in my complete idiocy, space headedness, God watched over me. This was one of those moments that I will look back on to remind me that God is watching over me. Yes I know that, but like others, in the moment I forget it. I need these kind of sign posts in my life to get me through those difficult times.
If I were to pull a scripture into this it would probably be Romans 8:28, the knowledge that God works things together for His children. Even knowing this, I didn’t see this coming. It floors me every time I see that God works our bad, stupid, and careless choices into an opportunity to show His grandeur and provision. We truly serve an amazing God.
Some might see this as coincidence, luck or the kindness of strangers. I see all of those working together under God’s sovereign hand. No prayer is too small. There are times when you will face the consequences for your bad decisions – own up to that, accept it. There are times that God in His mercy will shelter you from the consequences of His actions – praise Him for that. Regardless of your circumstances, trust God. He is worthy
Do you have any stories of God’s faithfulness? I’d love to hear them.