Upside Down by Robin Densmore Fuson
Do you feel your world tilted or upside down? How do you handle it?
“Yikes!” I said as my Zoom meeting opened. The whole computer screen was upside down. I had a great view of the top of everyone’s head and the ceilings in their homes. I didn’t know what happened. How did the screen turn upside down?
No time to figure it out, I had to do the two-hour meeting upside down. At least, I wasn’t upside down to them. It was disconcerting, to say the least. I love to watch facial expressions and those don’t come out the same upside down.
It hit me. Last night, my husband and I arrived home from a three-week trip to visit our families in Colorado. We were tired from the long three-day drive through six states. We came home to a mess. While we were gone, a contractor painted our walls, laid new tiles, and put on new baseboards in our home. Our furniture had been shoved out of the way into the master, kitchen, and other areas where the flooring wasn’t getting an upgrade. A thick layer of construction dust covered everything. I had forgotten how dusty the job would be and didn’t close the doors to the bedrooms and bathrooms.
On top of that, our part of Florida had a cold snap like the rest of the country and while we were gone, I called out an SOS to our neighbors to put our plants into the house. Droopy outdoor plants were stashed here and there and some colorful tropical plants got broken. They were inside hidden from the sun and “breathing” the dust.
To get ready for my Zoom meeting, we had to set up my office and the computer. We needed to hook up the internet. Everything was packed into boxes. Where were the cords? Where were the “things?” I needed my pens and notebook. I had to dust off the printer to print out the pages for critique. In the chaos, the paper for the printer had been folded over and didn’t want to stand up in the tray. I had to hold up the pile while it printed each piece.
Joy and excitement over the new floors turned into a bit of frustration. A headache came on. My fibromyalgia pain spiked. I got grouchy. I snapped at my husband.
In my haste to clean and find things, I’d forgotten to eat. We hadn’t gone to the grocery store yet. I scrounged around to find something.
I ate, made coffee, got dressed and pasted on a smile as I pushed, ‘connect with video’ for the meeting.
Scooting up to my desk, the folder in my hand hit the keyboard, which flipped the screen so everything turned upside down. This made the mouse work backward too.
God showed me what an upside-down world really looked like. I had made a fuss over trivia—over an inconvenience. God got my attention. I had to laugh at the situation. All the things that I let bother me, were insignificant in the scope of life.
I apologized to my Lord and my husband.
In time, I’ll unpack and find all I need. All the dust will be gone. All the furniture will be where it needs to go and filled with my dishes and treasures. Life is too short to go half-cocked because things are out of sorts. By the way, the floors look lovely. The contractor did a fabulous job. The mess was the price of the process.
I hope I remember this lesson the next time things go awry or the way I don’t want them to be. The dust will return when we do the next phase of the tile job. Do you get out of whack when life throws you a curve ball? How do you handle it?
“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful” (Colossians 3:15 nlt).