Testing the Formula

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Connections050417_small.JPGBy Mark Tetley

I was at Deerfield Beach when I took this photo.  It started out as a beautiful South Florida day. If it would stay that way was up to me. Shortly after posting the formula for living the ultimate life (Read last week’s post here), I was faced with the opportunity to put it to the test.

THE ULTIMATE LIFE = (Love God Completely) + (Love Others as You Desire to be Loved) 

I had gone to the dentist the week before for a check up and they found that I needed a filling, so I made an appointment to return the following week. Since Peggy and I have one car, it meant that I would drive her to work, go to the dentist, return home and then go and pick her up at the end of the day.  We left in the morning for the 30 minute drive to her workplace. I dropped her off but still had 40 minutes before my appointment, so I drove by the beach and admired God’s workmanship as only the ocean can display.  

I went to my dentist’s office about 5 minutes before my appointment. I walked up to the receptionist and told her that I was there for my 9:00 appointment. As I turned to go find a seat, I heard her say, “I can’t find you.”  

It seems that when I made my appointment with the assistant after my last visit, she wrote it down on my chart but failed to put it into the computer, and the dentist was booked for the entire day. Therefore, I had to make another appointment and look forward to going through the process of transporting Peggy again in a couple of weeks. 

The assistant was remorseful and apologetic. It seemed to be the kind of feeling where you wish you could do something to make it better, but there is nothing to do. I could have gotten upset and angry at the lady. I could have told her that she didn’t know how to do her job. I could have demanded that they give me a break on my next office visit. I could have done all those things. To be honest, there have been times in the past when I have done those things. On this day, instead of focussing my emotions toward her, I thought of how simple of a mistake it was and that I have made MANY errors just like it in my life. I told her that it was not upset and that she shouldn’t worry about it.

During my 35 minute drive back to the house, I thought of the formula for The Ultimate Life. Then I thought of a picture I had taken at the beach before my appointment, which I had posted it to my social media sites with the caption, “It is a beautiful day.” I realized at that moment that it was still a beautiful day because I had chosen to love first. 

If I had lost my temper and said hurtful things to the people at the dentist office, that anger would have still been inside of me. The thought of the beauty of the sun reflecting off the ocean that I had witnessed would have been pushed from my mind. The rest of my day would not have been beautiful at all. 

Life comes with celebrations and disappointments. It comes with victories and defeats. It comes with grace and injustice. What makes life beautiful is how we deal with it. If we choose to love first, we will have many more beautiful days than not. 

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