A Walk on the Wild Side

By on April 13, 2013

By Deb DeArmond

I did something last night I haven’t done since I was 16 years old. My mother warned me about it when I was a teenager, predicting dire outcomes if I were to ignore her advice. It sounded like she knew what she was talking about, so I made a personal commitment to follow her guidance. As far as I can tell, it has paid off.

But last night was different and I succumbed to the pull, the urge to try something different. Throwing caution to the wind, feeling a bit of a rebel spirit, I indulged myself.

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I went to bed without removing my makeup.

For many of you, I realize that may seem a bit tame; hardly a walk on the wild side. Well, you didn’t know my mother.

I retired for the night on hotel room sheets, which may have supported my decision, knowing someone else would deal with the rubbed off foundation and the flecks of mascara. But I bravely made the choice and suffered no guilt. I nodded off quickly and soundly.

My peaceful rest was shattered at 3:58am by a piercing, pulsing siren. At first, I believed it to be an emergency vehicle outside my hotel window, in the street below. Soon, with the sleep fog lifting, I realized it was not outside, but inside. It was the shriek of a hotel fire alarm.

“What’s the source of the alarm?” I asked the moment the clerk picked up the phone receiver.

“It’s a …technical difficulty. Sorry for the disruption,” she said hesitantly

Her response wasn’t convincing. Her voice had been uncertain. And I had called only moments after the alarm began to ring. How could she possibly know there was no need for concern so quickly? What if she’s wrong?

I heard doors slamming on my floor. A glance into the hall, revealed people with coats pulled on over pajamas, and hair standing wildly as though frightened by the deafening sound. I quickly decided to join them, shedding my PJs pants in favor of jeans, jammed my feet into tennis shoes and threw on a coat to make it all respectable.

I hurried down five flights of stairs to the lobby, fastidiously avoiding the elevators as the signs insisted. Taking the elevator would have been so much easier, but by this time, my rebel spirit was gone and I followed the instructions to the letter.

By the time I reached the lobby, the alarm was silenced and people were heading back to their rooms. I was surprised so few had bothered to come downstairs. Among them, my friend and co-worker, Jayne.

We exchanged a glance with weary eyes. We had a long day ahead of us. We didn’t say much, just headed toward the elevator to return to our rooms.

On arrival, I stepped into the bathroom to turn off the light. When I caught sight of myself in the mirror, I laughed. There I stood, my makeup amazingly intact. No smeared lipstick, no raccoon eyes. I looked as though I had prepared myself for an emergency middle-of-the-night evacuation by painstakingly applying a full range of cosmetics. No wonder Jayne had given me that odd look.

What are the chances that the one night I go rogue, refusing to responsibly remove my make-up before bed, I’d find myself trotting around in public at 4am? I smiled when I thought of the irony. But it also made me think…

I’m not a person who examines every moment in my life, attempting to force a deeper, spiritual meaning to each occurrence. God’s Spirit will alert me to those moments when He is concerned I have missed them. And let’s face it: sometimes you just run out of gas because you failed to fill up the tank. No big meaning, no message from God, just a simple case of inattention or oversight.

What I do believe is far less mysterious and much more concrete: I know God sees me. He knows I need Him. He’s not going to let me run ahead on something, powered by the firm of Me, Myself & I. He will make me ready and let me know when to go with a soft whisper, “Now.” My job is simple. Listen with an expectant heart and don’t hesitate when I hear the starting shot.

At this stage in my life, I am experiencing more new opportunities, people, ideas, and changes than ever before. I don’t need to force it; God has the playbook, my path in His hands. Trusting Him is the greatest peace ever known.

Some may suggest I have attached more meaning than the situation warrants. Perhaps. Either way, I feel covered, protected, and guided by an omnipotent, omniscient God.

The middle-of-the-night “party” in the lobby was a gentle reminder: You step out when I sound the alarm, and I will make sure you are ready to face whatever may appear to stand in your way.

He is a good God.

Deb is ‘wife’ to her high school sweetheart, mom to three incredible sons and Gigi to two perfect grandboys. She is a former Californian who now lives in the Dallas area.  She is excited about the next stage of life and what God has for her now.  An author, speaker, and executive coach, Deb travels extensively and is always seeking a quiet place to write. Read Deb at: http://mypurposenow.org/.

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A Walk on the Wild Side