Filing my taxes a few weeks ago brought back memories. Well, maybe they were more like nightmares.
It was this time last year that mailbox theft was rampant. Closing account after account took hours. The emotional cost was even worse. I was in constant fear of the next financial bomb about to explode. I had good reason to be worried. In just a few weeks, the final fraud tally approached $100,000.
A sunny Spring afternoon found me in a surprisingly long line at the post office. My bright idea about putting my mail on hold was far from perfect. It seems the fraudsters had already placed a hold online. I raced to get there before they intercepted the new credit cards they’d ordered.
Imagine my surprise to see my neighbors in line. An elderly woman casually mentioned that she hadn’t received deliveries in a week. She was following her instincts to check in, just like the April series, Smell the Rain. Right behind her was the middle-aged father who was miserable about the accounts already surfacing. A check on their credit revealed thousands of dollars in bogus department store charges.
Although our credit records were in tatters, everyone’s sense of humor was intact. As we headed out the door, we laughed about recruiting our own version of Amish Mafia to find the thieves.
Our discussion reminded me of the Arabic proverb, “Trust Allah…but tie up the camel.” Listening to your intuition doesn’t mean wishful thinking. Unlike Jill in Too Motivated by the Miracle, we did more than simply hope things would work out. Police reports were filed. What’s more, we agreed that a trip to the hardware store was in order. Street by street, locking mailboxes were installed.
Roberto was happy to buy his first home in a historic Seattle neighborhood. Roberto and his wife thought enclosing the garage for their home office would be easy. The remodel started off well, but then they discovered that years of bug infestation had taken a disastrous toll. The entire outer wall would have to be replaced before renovations could continue.
As their contractor showed them the damage, Roberto’s neighbor stopped by. Roberto complained, “This isn’t a new problem. I can’t believe the family didn’t include it in the house disclosure. We would have negotiated a completely different deal…”
To his surprise, Joe knew all about it. Joe recalled, “Oh yes, I remember when the Websters had termites. In those days, you had to move out for a week while they tented the house. They didn’t have the money to do that. They said they would just take their chances.”
Roberto shook his head in disbelief. The Webster’s bad bet was going to cost him plenty of time and money.
This is the week to consider if you’re living the proverb. Don’t stop at “Trust Allah” and live in a fool’s paradise like the Websters. Follow through and tie up the camel. Build confidence in your internal GPS by pairing high-minded faith with real world actions.