“Karma”. It's a term we have started using generically, despite religious preferences, though it did not come from a Christian religion. It may be because the phrase for the concept is wordy. We would say “what comes around goes around” or “you reap what you sow”. Either way, this concept showed up in my life in a profound way recently. Sometimes it takes weeks, months, or years, to see the fruits of our labor, but recently it only took one day to see…
I was right on time to meet a volunteer at my work place. I needed to give him a reimbursement check for some work he had done. I had never personally met him, so I felt an extra responsibility to be where I said I would be, when I said I would be there. I was at a gas station and had just finished filling my tank. With my mind on getting back on the road, I had one leg in the car when a gray headed man walked up to me with a map. An old-fashioned map. “Oh, no!” went my mind, but “Oh, yes,” went my body. Out of the car I came to greet the smiling gentleman. We all know what came next…he needed directions from where we were in Muscle Shoals, Alabama to Tennessee and he was lost. Of course, the directions he needed couldn’t have been just up the road. Naturally, since this would make me late, it entailed multiple roads and a whole different state. He explained that all he had was a flip phone which would not, of course, lead the way. He showed me his map which was useless because the road we were on wasn’t even on there, nor were the roads I would be giving him to get where he was going. I got out a notepad and hand wrote directions while he said, “I’m sorry to bother you. I bet you need to be somewhere.” He could see that I was dressed for work in my medical scrubs. I reassured him that I would be fine. I told him that it was an honor to be able to serve and I wished him a blessed day. If you’re curious, I called the volunteer on the way to my office to explain what had happened and that I would be right there. He was very understanding.
Later that day, I had to go to a patient’s home which seemed very far away from civilization. My GPS took me to what was supposed to be the address saying, “You’ve arrived.” Wrong. There were no houses. Just a state park. That was fine, I told myself. I had plans to type the address into my phone and all would be well. Except that my phone said "NO SERVICE". Great! In the middle of nowhere, in a county I was not familiar with, and in addition, I am directionally challenged. If my life had depended on it, I could not have found my way back to the closest town. I drove back the way I came and flagged down a man in a decent looking red car (hoping he was not an axe murderer, mind you). I explained what had happened and asked for directions. He looked at me with compassionate, but confused eyes and said, “You are very far away from where you need to be.” As it turned out, the patient’s address was odd because she lived on a line between counties. Apparently, it threw the GPS for a loop. The man pointed the way and explained that the only reason he knew where I was going was that he was a propane delivery driver and had driven the whole area for years. What are the odds? I thanked him very much and went about my way. His directions were accurate, but I drove another 20 miles before finding the patient’s home. It was an interesting day to say the least.
I felt so grateful that I took the time and served the old man with the map that morning. I didn’t have a clue that later that day I would need someone to serve me in exactly the same way. My challenge to you today is…the next time your mind says, “NO SERVICE” (like my phone did while I was lost in the woods), reconsider my friend. What you reap, you do sow. What comes around, does go around. In short, “karma” is very real.
Hoping you are not lost today,
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9