Heading over to the gun range, I was a bit excited, and apprehensive, at the same time. Having not practiced for what seems to be about a year, I knew my familiarity with my Bersa 380 and my skills were both quite rusty. But my basket was packed and was holding my pink eyewear, my gun case, and my rolled up targets. I at least looked like I belonged. I think. Somewhat. I imagine the pros could spot me a mile away and were thinking to themselves, warning: rookie on deck.
It was a new location to me. However, when I saw the lounge, the free coffee, the cold beverages and the big leather chairs, I knew I’d come to the right place. I headed to the counter to reserve my range, settled in for the safety video, signed the online waiver, and then waited.
Once all of the above were completed, I realized the clock was ticking and I’d better head over to select my ammo. After a nice chat with the man at the counter, I headed back to the lounge. And waited some more. I took that opportunity to watch some YouTube videos on my particular gun piece, some loading tips, and then realized…I have been here an hour and a half. What’s up?
With that, I headed back to the reservation area. “You can remove my name from the waiting list,” I stated. The not-so-eager or helpful assistant asked my name a couple of times and seemed to be annoyed. It was then he realized in his system how long I’d been there. “Oh,” he suddenly offered, “I can get you in now.”
Really? Why now? I mused.
“No thanks. I need to go,” I replied rather flatly.
With that I turned to head to the ammo area to return my would be purchase. That’s when he stopped me and said, “Wait!” He was scrambling for something and was offering it to me. “Here’s a free range hour on us.”
I paused, then received the small card. “Ok, thanks.” I then left. I was not a happy camper.
That’s when it hit me.
Why are you upset? Sure, you waited. But you just got a free trip to the range! That’s cool You may have spent your time today in a way you hadn’t planned, but you got quite a bit accomplished during your visit. (The ability to work remotely on our phones these days can be a blessing for moments such as these.)
The steam began to cool and my shoulders lowered as I drove away talking myself into a namaste calm.
Why do we get upset when delays or disruptions happen? It doesn’t solve the problem at hand. And, too, showing our emotions can, and often does, ruin the moment. Or the relationship.
I was reminded of a story where a couple that were moving a mattress were in the elevator heading down to the street when it stopped. They were delayed over an hour waiting for help to come. When they finally got outside, they looked up only to see a 3-year old playing on a balcony above them. They tried to talk the toddler inside, but the autistic child could not understand their words. He came tumbling down—right after they’d hurriedly moved the mattress under his playing area, only to catch him—just in time.
Now, if they’d fumed, and demanded their way, or been ugly, imagine how silly they would have felt only to realize, that exact delay was what turned into an opportunity to save a child’s life.
Coincidence? I think not.
Maybe delays and disruptions aren’t something to look at as negative or so awful. Maybe we need to just ride them out and look forward to something good to happen on the other side.
For me, staying calm, at least on the outside that day, landed me a free trip back to the range. If I’d thrown a fit, that may not have happened. And truth be told, I needed time to check out the new facility, learn the ropes there, and get reacquainted with my neglected firearm anyway.
For that couple who were moving, they unexpectedly kept a family from tragedy.
I hope this thought will carry into this week with you. If you have a divine delay or disruption, I’d love to hear about it.
Email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
—Just my thoughts.