I never want to admit my mistakes. However, they come so often now that they are hard to ignore. Yesterday, was a great example.

The day started at 5am when I slowly but with resolve crept out of my bed to go to the Cocoa Special Gathering Corporate office (a half-hour away) to collect the some information and papers.  Then I would go to the Vero post office (an hour away) and return by 8am.  I needed to go by the office, post office and bank to complete my tasks for the year.   I’m the area director of SpG of Indian River.  We are a ministry within the mentally challenged community.  Our goal and mission is to disciple and evangelize our population.

The problem:  I couldn’t find my office or PO box key.  The ExecDir of Special Gathering had an early morning meeting and wouldn’t be in the office until 10am.  He laughed as I collected his office key to make another one for myself.  “As soon as you remake all the keys you need, you’ll find your keys.”  I actually was hopeful that this was true; but I completely doubted it.

I cruised into Vero at 10 minutes before noon.  I paid to have a new PO box key made. it was the last key I needed.  I’d replaced all the others.  I opened my box with the new key and there in the PO box were my old  keys.  Somehow, the last time I’d been in the PO, I’d dropped the keys and didn’t realize it. 

I returned home in plenty of time to prepare for our New Year’s Eve Fun and Game Party.  Our main entertainment was to be the music for some group dances.  I’d stolen a couple of great games from our SC program director.  Those were set. 

I had carefully guarded the music CD I’d used during the last Fun and Games sessions.  And I knew exactly where it was.  As soon as I returned home, I rechecked the CD on my computer.  Much to my horror, it was a photo CD, not the music CD. 

No problem,  I thought.   I knew I had a Veggie Tales Double-Feature CD sitting on the coffee table in the family room.  The CD is geared for children but that wouldn’t be a problem.  Our members would love them.  We could all sit together, eating popcorn, laughing,  making fun of the story and characters, pretending not to like them.  However, the CD was gone.  My daughter had taken it by mistake when she packed this morning heading back to Virginia. 

 Now I had to find the music CD and I had no idea where it could be.  I looked; then tried to pull music from the Internet.  After a few unsuccessful tries, time was running out.  I picked up a couple of Karaoke CD’s I’d purchased in the past and headed to the church. 

 My prayers were purposeful.  “Oh, God.  Help!  Oh, God, Help me!  Oh, dear God, Help!”

In reality, God answered the prayer.  We had about 30 people who came and we had a blast.  The games were a big hit.  They were simple but challenging.  Most of all they were fun and involved candy prizes. 

I’ve come to learn that sometimes God can change our mistakes into assets.  I won’t go so far as to say that happened yesterday.  However,  God helped me and our volunteers to look at the bright side of a crazy, bad situation.  “It’s amazing how easy it is to please our members,” one of our volunteers had told me soothing my distress.  “If you are having fun, they will have fun.  That simple truth changed everything.

And God taught me another great lesson.  Attitude may not be everything but attitude is vitally important to our members.  In fact, it’s vital with everyone.  Last night, we danced and played and sang and laughed.  Our members, even the most low functioning, were excited to play the games.  They won candy and played some more. 

With ministry to people who are cognitively disabled, there is the impression that this is hard work.  It can be hard but it isn’t as much work as it is a pleasure to be in the company of people who delight in the small things of life, like laughter and applause and pizza.

What are some lessons you’ve learned that has made your ministry easier?