“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
“Down” did not adequately describe it. It was more like “frustrated” and “angry” at myself over what I had done. Let me explain …
Our family van had served us well for 13 years. It was time to look for another one. A few years ago I had been scouring Internet sites for possibilities and found one that I wanted to go and see.
When I left the house in the morning with my laptop, I went to meet some men from our church at Bob Evans Restaurant. Then I went to downtown Dayton to see this van. The salesman asked if I wanted to test drive it and I said “yes.” My bag with the laptop went in the van right behind the driver’s seat. When we returned, as best as I can remember, I forgot to take my bag out.
After leaving the dealership, I drove north about 30 minutes to a doctor’s appointment. I still had not realized the bag with my laptop was not with me. I spent 30-45 minutes with the doctor and on my way back to Dayton, I realized the bag was missing. I go back to the dealer to see if the bag was there. He did not see a bag nor was it in the van we test-drove together.
By this time I am racking my brain trying to think where it could be. Could it be at Bob Evans? Could it be at the doctor’s office? Could I have left it in the van or even in the parking lot of the dealership? I did not know for certain.
Then I began to pray and talk to God about it. I expressed my frustration in an honest way and acknowledged the laptop and everything else in the bag belonged to Him and that He knew where it was. I asked him if He would direct me to it. Then I called my wife and shared the news. Andrea was very understanding and, unknowingly to me, gathered our daughters together and prayed. I am so grateful to God for a loving wife who responded in a Christ-centered way.
The next morning, Andrea and I were driving to a meeting and received a phone call. The bag with the laptop had been discovered. The nice lady gave us the location of the bag and, after our meeting, we went directly to a hospital in Dayton. How did it end up at this hospital? We were soon to find out.
We found the building and walked into the Food Services Department. This is where they prepare the food for all the guests at the hospital. Maxine, a supervisor for this area, greeted us and returned the laptop. Everything was in order. Maxine then called Leroy, an employee there, over to meet us. Leroy came over and we were able to personally thank this man who found the laptop.
Leroy told us that he was test-driving a van and found the bag. He was not sure if he should return it to the dealer or try to find the owner. He brought it to work and several people named Rodney, Tonya, and Henry all were a part of helping Leroy find us. They used every clue in the bag to use the Internet to locate the owner. We had a good time proclaiming the goodness of God to one another.
We are so used to hearing bad news through all the media outlets, that it is refreshing to hear a story of honesty and integrity. In the end, it is only an object and it was not a matter of life and death. If we had never found it, we still would have been OK. However, the Lord used Leroy and his co-workers in our lives to encourage us and confirm in them their hearts to help others.
William “Carey” Northington of One Master Ministries in Xenia may be contacted at OneMaster.org.