I'm shameless when it comes to looking for media opportunities for Operation Christmas Child. On last night's 11 o'clock news I heard that the Mutual of Omaha "Aha Moments" van was in town to videotape Erieites' meaningful moments.
I thought of our Operation Christmas Child packing party last year and about how I saw in true clarity the boundless power of community and prayer combined. So I went to the Mutual of Omaha website and fired off a request for a time to go to the van today and record my moment. I requested a 5:15 pm appointment. I'd committed to drive a friend and her daughter to their appointments at the Cleveland Clinic today but thought I'd be home by early afternoon.
As the day moved along with delay after delay I got a small taste of what it must be like to live with a chronic illness that requires a myriad of medical tests and appointments. We didn't leave Cleveland until nearly 3:30 but my gps still put us on track to get home to Erie by about 4:45--plenty of time to make my 'aha' recording time.
When we were about 20 minutes outside Erie the traffic on I-90 came to a halt and we sat or crawled along. I felt like I was taking a course called Patience 101 as I watched the minutes slip by. By the time I made it to an exit I realized I was going to miss my 'aha' appointment. But I just kept praying and thanking God for His sovereignty.
When I pulled into my driveway at 5:45 pm I wondered if I should just forget the whole 'aha' deal but I decided to throw on my Operation Christmas Child volunteer shirt, grab a sample shoebox, and head for the van. No harm in trying. Maybe they could fit me in.
As I drove I reminded myself that we have a God who can 'open doors no one can shut'. If He wanted me to say a word for Operation Christmas Child then it would happen.
When I got to the Mutual of Omaha van parked at the Erie Public Dock I was greeted warmly by a young man named Ben. I apologized for missing my appointment but he assured me they'd fit me in. The two twenty-somethingish women who completed the production team were both well acquainted with Operation Christmas Child and love the project. Jessica, who actually did the interview with me, has even volunteered at the OCC Processing Center in Atlanta.
I had a great time going on camera and telling them about last September's Operation Christmas Child packing party and how it helped me clearly see how God used the community to answer prayer and provide gift-filled shoeboxes for 12,670 children who needed to know His love. I got to show my sample shoebox and tell what these items can mean to a child, and I even got to take my clipboard home as a keepsake.
I don't know if any of this will be on the Mutual of Omaha website or make it into a commercial. Even if that doesn't happen, today's lessons in patience and perseverance were worth it.
And that's another 'aha moment'.