Last week I had to go to Lusaka to take care of some business and errands. I didn't want to be away from the orphanage longer than necessary so I felt a bit of pressure to get everything done quickly.
One of the difficulties in running errands here in Zambia is that most offices open between 8 & 9:30 in the morning and if you don't get in the door right at the beginning of the day then lines and queues pile up and you may be standing in one of them all day long.
Sunday night I fell asleep with my long to-do list running through my head. I would line my errands out in a reasonable order, but then I'd wonder what would happen if one or another of them took longer than expected and I'd run through the list again.
Having just gotten off the 16 hour bus ride I was quite exhausted and needed desperately to get a good night sleep. Instead I tossed and turned, waking up frequently after anxiety-induced nightmares--including one in which I lost a briefcase full of cash.
Finally at dark-thirty in the morning I finally came to my senses and prayed for God to calm my mind. He spoke calmly and clearly, "Just do one thing at a time". Wasn't that amazing advice?? Blew my mind!
I fell asleep immediately with peace in my heart.
The next morning I left the house before 8, caught a mini-bus to town where I met up with my taxi for the day.
The first task at hand was photocopying a bunch of papers to turn in to various offices later. Then I did the next thing on the list--getting a manager's check (AKA a cashier's check). The bank experience is deserving of its own post so hopefully I'll share that soon.
After being told I could collect the check in two hours I moved on to the next possible item on my list. And so it went all morning. I simply did what I could and then moved on to the next item. Certifying papers, dropping off annual returns, standing in lines at every step, visiting government offices, submitting applications, and so on and so forth.
By 1 PM I had done every last errand on my list. It was nothing short of a miracle! Even though I had spent some time in lines, none of them was terribly long, and some places had no lines at all. There was a tiny monkey wrench thrown into one of the errands. A paper I was supposed to turn in to accompany an application was not in the file (because it wasn't on the list of required papers--go figure). I got hold of Tom, he scanned and emailed it and I walked across the street to a hotel's business center to print it out and was back in the government office within 30 minutes. Amazing!
I finished in plenty of time to meet up with Jasmine for a lovely and relaxed lunch at the mall before meeting up with a friend for just a bit more business.
It was very likely one of my easiest and least frustrating African days ever. And it was wholly due to God's grace. I listened to Him and just took each item one at a time (I couldn't have done more than that anyway, right?) and He gave me peace that if it didn't get done then it would be OK.
Don't you love learning life lessons like that?
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