Today, for fortunately only the second time in our 3 years here, we had a little communication glitch based on our having 2 church congregations in 2 different towns.
We had arranged to spend part of this New Years Day doing a marriage counselling session with a dear young couple who were born and raised here but now live away in another province. My husband is performing their marriage in July and the cannons of our denomination require a certain number of counselling meetings take place prior to the wedding. As they have been in the area visiting family it was decided that today would be the best day for their first session.
The bride grew up in the church in our other town. The wedding will take place there. Hence my husband's instruction to them to meet today at "the church". However, in their minds there was a recognition that this is actually supposed to be a day off for my husband and our home church is on their route back to the city. They assumed that "the church" meant the one here where we live and where they would be passing through anyway on their way home.
Subsequently we had a lovely sunny drive in the blowing snow down to the other town, passing them without realizing it as they headed up here. When they were late arriving in the other town and we were not around up here a series of phone calls was initiated and we came flying back up here as quickly as blowing snow and pavement frost would allow, while they took advantage of the 45 minutes we needed to get here and ran a few errands around town. Finally they met up with my husband so the session could still take place.
There are a couple of different ways of looking at this situation. The most natural response, at least for me, is to become frustrated by the miscommunication and the resulting "waste of time and gasoline" in making an apparently unnecessary 120 km round trip on a New Years Day morning when we could have been sleeping in. I could berate my husband for not clarifying properly where we were to meet and cuss the Lord out pretty well for the lousy driving conditions despite the bright sun and warmer temperatures today.
However there were some really neat things that came about from the misunderstanding. First of all we got to take a drive together, alone, on a sunny warm day and on roads that were still passable and that we could drive with our eyes shut after 3 years of making several trips a week on them. Secondly, we had a chance to pick up a hitchhiker and get him most of the way back to his home. He had been the designated driver for a New Years Eve party last night and ended up returning someone's car to their place only to find himself stranded for getting home as they were too ill after all from hangover to drive him back the 36 km to his town. It was fun meeting someone new who lives in the area and we had a chance to chatter together about life and spirit. Thirdly, since I hadn't had time to eat breakfast before we left our house and had taken my breakfast in my purse to eat at the other church, I actually got to "go out for breakfast" in a manner of speaking. I ate it up in the sanctuary of our other church, in the light of the stained glass windows while my husband was waiting in the church hall for his bride and groom to show up. The young couple were able to do their errands here while waiting for us to come back and were very laid back about the wait and the mix up. We learned we need to get all the details communicated next time we are doing an inter-town event where such mix ups can occur.
Now we are going to finish some left over New Years Eve pizza for lunch before I tackle a huge load of dishes that I soaked in the sink yesterday but otherwise ignored because of all the phone calls and visits.
Our new year began with lots of ministry, expected and otherwise. Perhaps that bodes well for the rest of our new year.