What Are The Odds?
…by Shane Hale
It was time to depart Chicago for my hometown of Mobile, AL. I arrived in a cloud of dust at Gate M18, wife and three sons in tow, to find the flight we thought we would miss had been delayed for two hours. Relief far outweighed frustration and I gladly took a seat on the outskirts of the crowd.
Later a voice began to dominate the conversations going on in front of us, and it just kept getting louder. Then it wandered our way. A young lady had been unjustly charged for two hotel rooms, not just one. She had been wronged, she was angry, and she wanted her $100 back!
Anyone within ear shot surely came to the same conclusion….except the hotel rep who was having none of this “refund” business. And on it went. The lady worked up a good mad and was pacing from my seat to the Gate counter and back, all but yelling at the person on her phone.
My “relief” was rapidly replaced by “old guy irritation”. Enough is enough and everyone is annoyed, you should say something, Shane! I was ready for the next boisterous trip by my seat to ask her to take the argument to the next gates which were empty. But at the last moment I refrained.
God uses the strangest situations to teach us something.
Fifty years of living had taught me the likely outcome was the totality of her anger would be redirected at me. And there sat my sons and a host of strangers with front row seats to the potential smack down. Thankfully, her conversation lost steam and soon I was boarding the plane.
Arriving at my seat, I stopped and looked back. The lady was standing directly behind me, patiently waiting for her seat which happened to be directly beside mine. What are the odds? My earlier “relief” came pouring back as I was profoundly glad I’d kept my mouth shut.
A younger me would not have done that. Sitting next to someone I’d just confronted would have been awkward. And what about my Christian witness to her, my ever-watching sons, and all those strangers? How long does it take to repair your witness once it is damaged? (Ponder that one.)
These days I’m likely to work faith into any conversation. Especially with strangers. I’m interested to know what they believe and eager to share what God has done in my life. But who wants to hear about Christ from someone who just picked a fight? The answer is simple. Nobody in the crowd.
Our Christian witness is something we need to protect.
I may never be able to fully embrace “turn the other cheek”. I’m Human, I’m Shane, and I’m a Hale. But I can say this…I am better than I once was because my desire to share Christ with others, through my actions and words, far outweighs my desire to defend my own foolish pride. (Ponder that one too.)
I learned the lady got her $100, then she fell asleep as the plane left the ground. But the point was very clear to me… Shane, protect your witness. By the way, what are the odds? They were 1 in 161. Long odds, but long odds are one of God’s favorite tools to show His work and His way in our life.
Get in the boat. Do your part!
Shane Hale is a redeemed & re-purposed professional baseball player and former corporate sales executive. Shane, his wife Michelle, and their three sons live in Mobile, Alabama, USA, where he works as a Realtor. While seeking God’s plan for his life in the summer of 2014, God told Shane to start writing. Today he shares his faith to encourage and inspire others to seek His plan for their lives as well.
This is a condensed version of the original work, “What Are The Odds?”,
published in June, 2019. To read the entire version, go to Shane’s
blog at http://www.the1sixproject.com .
Pictures : Banner Photo: Shane Hale. Note: Pictures used in this Note of Encouragement are stock photos and no one depicted was involved in the events described.