They got my order wrong at McDonalds this morning. I ordered an Egg McMuffin and I got it’s slightly unhealthier cousin, the Sausage McMuffin. I didn’t take it back, but chalked it up to “one of those things”. If you think of it, it’s amazing they don’t get orders wrong more often. Have you ever peeked behind the counter at McDonald’s? It’s organized chaos, as staff (most of whom are teenagers) bustle about at a frenzied pace, carefully choreographing their way around each other, doing everything they can to get food to their customers within seconds. It’s pretty impressive to watch. So I figured, as I downed my sausage McMuffin, that I should choose to appreciate the 99 times they got it right rather than worry about the one time they got it wrong.
And yet, how often do we focus on the one at the expense of the 99? If we get 99 compliments and one criticism, it’s the criticism that gets and keeps our attention. If we get 99 green lights and then one red light, we wonder why the universe is conspiring to slow us down. If we take 99 successful sips of coffee and then on our 100th sip we accidently spill the coffee on our outfit, we call ourselves clumsy and useless.
In scripture, Jesus said that if one sheep is lost, the shepherd will leave the 99 and go and search for that lost sheep. Jesus was referring to the fact that every last person is valuable and even the lost are worthy to be found. But what if we played with that idea a bit and re-applied it. Every time we focus on the one at the expense of 99 WE can become lost. WE can lose our confidence. WE can lose our momentum. WE can lose our joy. But most especially, WE can lose our perspective. I can almost guarantee you that for every criticism, mistake, or failure in a day, there are 99 things that can be found that are good and positive about the day.
Yes, they got my breakfast wrong, but the car started, the sun was shining, my neighbour waved at me, the garbage had been picked up, and as I drove to McDonalds, one of my favourite songs was playing on the radio. That’s five good things, and it was only 8:00am.