237. Perfect Timing

Last week I discovered that I had only two weeks before my military ID card expired.

It is always difficult to get this renewed. In this case, I didn’t have any weekdays off before the deadline. I called, and the nearest office didn’t have any appointments. “Nearest” was 45 minutes away, too. They said that they take walk-ins after 1:00, but I asked if I should go in an hour before, and she said that the day before they’d started turning people away at 11:30 in the morning. So I asked when they open and she said 6:40.

The upcoming Friday, I had a meeting of children’s librarians in Arlington. (It is also 45 minutes away, but in the same general direction as the base with the ID card office.) I figured I’d try to get to the ID card office at 6:40 and bring a bag of books and plan to wait 5 or 6 hours if I had to. At least my workplace was already planning on having me gone in the morning, though I hated to miss the meeting. I asked to not be scheduled on the information desk until late in the afternoon, and planned to take as much leave as necessary.

Well, I didn’t get to the office until 7:15. There was a 7:20 no-show — and I had my new ID card by 7:30!

I was early to my meeting, and even had some time to sit and read before I went to it!

What’s more, if I had arrived at 6:40, I would have been there when they had to call the police about a belligerent customer who got angry when they didn’t give him (a walk-in) priority over a person who was late to their appointment.

I had prayed that there’d be an opening for me to take. And that I’d get to go to my meeting and not have to take leave. But I hardly dared hope it would really happen. And it was my own fault I hadn’t kept track of when my card expired.

In short, it was total grace.

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