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Saturday, Mar. 28, 2015

Remind yourself of Joseph when things get rough

Friday, July 8, 2011

"Recalculating." If you have a GPS system and you're like me, this is a word you hear frequently when traveling. Its definition? "You're lost again. Find a place to turn around and go the other direction, you numbskull."

Some of us live in recalculating mode. We are constantly readjusting. Plan A becomes Plan B which evolves into Plan C.

The Old Testament Joseph knew that scenario all too well. As a young man he bragged to his brothers, was thrown into a well, and ended up as an Egyptian slave. There he found favor in the eyes of Potiphar, Pharaoh's official, and was put in charge of all that his boss owned --until, that is, Potiphar's conniving, lovelorn wife got involved. When her sexual advances were rejected by Joseph, the shunned beauty's accusations led to his imprisonment. In both the cistern and the dungeon, he was forced to recalculate.

This man of God was befriended by the prison warden who trusted him and gave him responsibility among his peers. Ultimately Joseph was released, after demonstrating his ability to interpret the king's dream, and was rewarded by being placed in charge of Pharaoh's palace and his people.

God had revealed to Joseph that there would be seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine, and because of this, Joseph stored up grain for the Egyptians and eventually sold it to other countries. This led to his reunion with his brothers and father.

When things don't go as planned, I remind myself of Joseph (not in the sense of "I'm a lot like Joseph" but more like "I must remember Joseph when I get into a mess").

Take this summer trip, for instance. In April when Dave and I began to design our route to visit our kids and some friends, everything hinged on where our sons Adam and Andy would play baseball. Adam would be on a road trip to Phoenix, San Diego, and Anaheim, and Andy had a long home stand in Oakland.

We would travel through Las Vegas, see Nikki's family, drive to Phoenix to see Adam, and meet up with Nanette's family in San Diego while also catching a few ballgames there. From that point we would head to Oakland. It was perfect ... until Adam called right before our trip: "Mom, Dad, I won't be coming west. I have a torn rotator cuff and labrum and need surgery."

Recalculating. Scratch Phoenix and Anaheim. No big deal. After all, Joseph would have made the best of it, and so would we. The first day of our trip was uneventful, actually enjoyable. Our first night was not. The motel we had chosen had good ratings (of course, no one told us the raters were comparing it to a campout in a remote, snake-infested African jungle).

I realize it wasn't exactly Joseph's dungeon experience, but its poking bed spring, leaky sink that soaked my make-up bag, and police officers hauling off four hoodlums in handcuffs while I held the door open did make me a little more compassionate about Joseph's experience.

We eventually ended up in San Diego, and our new, adjusted schedule meant we would drive from there to Oakland to watch Andy play ball. That, too, was short-lived. "I've been sent down" read his text. That meant he would no longer be in Oakland; he would be with the Sacramento team on a roadtrip to Tucson.

Recalculating. Head west and not north.

This week Dave and I are on the last leg of our trip in Steamboat Springs with our oldest son Jeff. We should be home on Thursday ... "should" being the operative word. Somehow, knowing my luck, I'm thinking there are probably a few more "recalculations" ahead. I just hope none of them involve a cistern or a dungeon. I'll keep you posted.

Patty LaRoche
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