In my life I’ve learned that oftentimes friction is an indicator of great blessing(s). I remember when President Obama was running for office the first time. His relationship with his Pastor became strained and then a day before the election his Grandmother died. He won not one, but two elections. I remember when then Mayor Cory Booker was running for Senator, a week before the election his father died. He is now Senator Booker. Wow! Not that’s not to say that someone has to die or your challenge has to be that shattering. These are just two instances that I thought of when the title (subject matter) came to my mind for this excerpt.
So let me use something a little less morbid, well a whole lot less morbid. Okay not morbid at all. I volunteered for a startup organization with my employer. Upon being appointed as one of the selectees I was notified that I would be, along with others across the nation, traveling to Chicago for training. Upon arrival for training I checked into my hotel room and went to dinner with colleagues. While at dinner I checked my voice mail and had received a message from the hotel staff informing me that I had been locked out of my room because a credit card had not been presented for my room. WHAT! ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Oh Lord, I was blind sided and just thrown for a loop. The company is paying for my room, what do you mean? Ooh Lord, help me stay calm and not flip out. So as the enemy would have it I finished dinner with a plethora of crazy thoughts dancing through my head. Which was the purpose of the whole situation, an attempt to distract me and get me off course. By the grace of God I handled the situation professionally. I shared the incident with management and upon returning to the hotel needless to say I had with me a member of our Human Resources team who wasn’t my skin tone. Having past experience in the hotel industry I had an idea of what was taking place. Unfortunately and I am ashamed to say, hotels often experience quite a bit of damage to the rooms from people in our race (African American). With a credit card being placed on file the hotel management has a way of assessing those charges or linking them to your credit card for reimbursement. Well maybe not reimbursement but definitely get you entangled in some sort of legal battle for any damages sustained to the room. When I checked into the hotel the guest services representative did not ask me for a credit card for incidentals. I thought about mentioning it, because of my experience, but knew I had no plans to make any charges to the room. Didn’t need to purchase all of my food, beverage and lodging were being taken care of by my employer. Yet it’s the representatives’ responsibility to ask you for this card, so I checked in, kept quiet and kept going (always go with your first mind). So because they did not have a credit card on file for incidentals they took the drastic measure of locking me out of my room (shaking my head). Totally uncalled for, needless to say I kept calm. Upon returning to the room I sent a nice nasty professional message to the hotel organizer and my company organizer. The next day upon re-entering my room, I was pleasantly surprised by a nice tray with a handwritten apology note and lots of upscale treats to tickle my palette. Thanks, but I won’t ever stay at any of your hotel chains again (I’ll keep the name to myself).
A few months later I became the lead person in this network and have been greatly recognized for my efforts. I’ve become known by many for my input and received an exceptional review (with a nice raise) as a result. Taking advantage of the opportunity and not allowing that stealth moment of the enemy to derail me has aided in setting me up for my next blessing.
Dr. Bernard has taught us that the enemy works within the realm of human emotion and human experience and emotional impulsive behavior is dangerous. I could have been really, really stupid but I wasn’t and not doing so has been beneficial to my career reputation. So whatever experiences you may be facing or will face, know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. What the devil means for bad, God will use for your good. A set back is a setup for a comeback, oftentimes greater than before. And remember, friction is often an indicator of great blessing(s).