I am rarely diligent and forward-thinking, but I was last night when I prepared a wonderful-looking kale lasagna for tonight's dinner. The theory was that, to ease our preparations for our Bible study this evening, I could get most of the work done ahead of time, when it was more convenient: at 9:00 at night after fighting to get the boys to bed for and hour and a half. And it looked good too; right up until I opened the refrigerator this afternoon and it slipped out, crashing to the floor in an explosion of sauce, ricotta, and broken glass.
I have to admit that at the moment it felt like a gigantic setback. Lasagna is a fair amount of work to get together, and the we don't make it often on account of not usually having ricotta in the house; I was really looking forward to eating it. Then there was the money wasted: in the ingredients, and in the cost of the pyrex pan that we'll have to replace. It seemed to me, as I walked away from the mess for a minute before trying to clean it up, that the disaster pointed to the tenuous nature of our lives. I may think I can hold things together, this tragedy was trying to tell me, but it just takes one little slip of a pan to make life a lot harder. Or, you know, a car accident, or a serious illness, or something like that.
Of course, the feeling didn't last long; my use of "tragedy" in the last paragraph is somewhat knowingly hyperbolic. There are plenty of worse things that can happen. In this case we just got pizza! But it sure felt disastrous at the time.