When I reached my seat on the Washington-Phoenix leg of my flight home last week, I found a paper clip on my seat. Now that was a rather odd item to have been left behind, I thought, and commented on it to the person in the seat beside me.
“Maybe you will need it,” she said, off-handedly, and we went on to discuss other, seemingly more relevant things.
Later, we became absorbed in our own readings. I had casually pulled the U. S. Airways magazine out of the seat pocket in front of me and started flipping through it, more as a warm-up to doing any serious reading – I had brought a book with me – than anything else. Then, my interest was piqued. I noticed the title of an article about open-space work areas. We are having heated debates on that topic at work, as I strive to put an additional 100 people into our current space. The space committee had just handed (well, e-mailed) me a plan the day before that I knew would draw an irate response from some employees who will have to give up private offices that they have had for nearly ten years and join the open-space environment. The article reported on research, published by Harvard Business Review, that showed a range of advantages to open-space designs and provided excellent grist for a reply to my employees’ anticipated concerns.
That was one article I wanted to save, but I know me. If I put the magazine, which passengers are encouraged to take with them, in my carry-on, I might or might not remember when I took it out that this particular article was there, and after a day or so, I might simply toss out the magazine along with others. (I frequently bring home the airline magazines in the event that Donnie might like to read something or I might like to re-read an article, which, hah!, only happens in my plans). However, I had the perfect solution to the memory-failure dilemma. I had a paper clip. I clipped the magazine open to the first page of the article. Now I would, for sure, remember and have the article available when needed because it will be needed.
So the lady beside was right. I was going to need that paper clip. It’s the little ways of taking care of us that sometimes make God seem the most powerful.