Last week, I had coffee with my friend, Gloria, before a lunch conference six miles away from her house. After an energetic conversation, I slid into my car pumped about my novel and excited about the 12:30 meeting.

My clock read 12:02.  

Before I drove off, I realized I forgot her food processor, I’d been meaning to take it off her hands since before Christmas. I left my keys in the ignition, didn’t bother to shut my door, and dashed back into her house.

When I returned, a large gray bird had taken up residence on my dash.

The clock read 12:06.

Still plenty of time to coax the bird out of the van and make it to the meeting on time. Gloria and I opened all the doors, called to the bird, pleaded with the bird, and negotiated with the bird. Problem was the bird thought he’d fly straight out my front window. Through the heavy glass.

After watching him butt his head for five minutes, Gloria reached in and encouraged him to hop toward the driver’s side door. Wild wings flapping, he had a massive panic attack.

When birds freak, guess what they do?

That little guy pooped all over my dash, all over my steering wheel, and all over my leather seat. When he finished defiling the entire front section of my van, he flew out the door. Gloria had a stash of Clorox wipes handy. By the time we mopped up the mess, my whole car smelled clean. And orange.

The clock now read 12:33.

Six miles in four minutes? Wasn’t going to happen. A little flustered, I typed in the address for the restaurant in my GPS, and left. Ten minutes later, my GPS shouted—Destination on the right. I squinted through my sunglasses. I’d pulled up to a vacant lot.

The clock taunted me at 12:39.

Because I didn’t have one phone number plugged in my cell for any of the five people I was meeting, calling was not an option. I had amazing forethought that way. If I forget to write down information, I always needed it. If I kept a painstaking detailed note, I never used it.

Sometimes life poops on you. Right in the middle of a major upswing, just when you have your stuff together, and you’ve made plans. Your day is going places. Then along comes the bird.

I could have freaked, let the upset ruin my day, and accepted the anxiety that came with the mishaps and the ticking clock. Sometimes the little things mess me up, steal my joy, set me up for failure. And those little things take me by surprise because I’m not prepared for the pebbles when I’m expecting rocks.

Luckily, my friend Linda had my number. She called, rerouted me, and I did get to have lunch. And two diet Cokes. I told my story over lunch and laughed about the bird’s incontinence and the fact that my GPS is geographically challenged.  

When life poops on you—and it will—brush it off, move on with your day, and find something to laugh about. Find your joy in Someone solid, sure, and unshakeable. “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song” (Psalm 28:7 NIV).