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Who's At Fault?
Photo: Aaron Murphy
The Bible record tells us of a blind man that Jesus walked by as He strode the pathways of ancient Israel. His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2). They wanted to know who was to blame! Are we any different today? Should we be different today? Bear with me a few minutes as I share a personal story.

This morning the alarm rang a 4 a.m. Who in the world made an alarm clock that even rings at that time? It was time to rise, prepare myself for a day of travel, complete my packing, meet the deadlines of airport and airplane schedules and arrive a scheduled meetings at a location somewhere a long way from home. Oh yes, I nearly forgot. I also had to allow for the time to drive through traffic in two of the largest cities in Canada in meeting these deadlines.

My dear wife, Leona, was again putting her brave foot forward at this early hour; she was driving me to the airport and returning through rush-hour traffic. The time frameworks were correct, traffic was normal and there were no accidents. We arrived at the airport on queue—one-and-a-half hours before the scheduled flight departure.

One Day Late

I kissed my wife goodbye, collected my cases from the back seat and headed into the departures area. This was routine by now. I would walk to the nearest kiosk, insert my frequent flyer card, get my boarding pass, check in my checked luggage and proceed to security. I inserted my card and my file had been flagged—I had no boarding pass! I removed my card, input the flight file number and again it was flagged. I still had no boarding pass. I collected my cases, but now I made my way to the regular check-in counter. While walking across the departure area I checked the itinerary my secretary had prepared and I realized why I had been flagged and had no boarding pass. The itinerary identified a Thursday flight and today was Friday—I was one day late!

The gentleman at the counter was polite as he informed me, “I’m sorry, I cannot help you. You will need to go to our ticketing office and they will assist you.” Unkind thoughts of my secretary raced through my head. “How could she do this to me? Why had she not ensured that I was fully informed?”

I found the ticket office and approached a smiling gentleman. He greeted me saying “How can I help you?” I explained my circumstance and he began clicking the keys on his computer. He confirmed that my file had been dumped from the system—no out flight and no return flight! More clicking. He now confirmed that he had restored my file! The available flight with the same category of my purchased ticket was now at 5 p.m. on Friday, and it was still just a few minutes after 7 a.m. I tried to feel encouraged, but a 10 hour delay just didn’t seem to fit into my thinking. I then suggested to him, “This is my error, but I would like not to wait until late afternoon. Is there any option for an earlier flight? I am willing to pay a reasonable fee.” After more clicking, he asked if a 10 a.m. flight would be OK. I assured him that this was much more reasonable. He then said, “How would you like to pay for the additional fees?” I passed him my credit card and began to fear what the additional fees were going to be. He soon handed me the receipt, which amounted to $30, and I had a boarding pass and a restored return flight. Later, I discovered that this fine gentleman had also given me a $7 meal credit for the trip.

As all of this transpired, the question of “Who can I blame?” kept flashing in my mid. Then I realized, “Does it really matter.” God’s name had been glorified! He had taken care of me! After all, wasn’t that what Leona and I had prayed for earlier that morning?

When “they” asked Jesus, He answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him" (John 9:3).

When we demand, “Whose fault is this?” we should also ask, “Is God’s name being glorified?”

By the way, before you all blame my secretary, I have concluded that it was my own fault. More importantly—is it possible that God wanted me to build more trust in Him? After all, His name was glorified!

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By Reo E. Ganson. Reprinted with permission from Canadian Adventist Messenger, May 2006. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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