Have you ever made a dumb little mistake that ended up causing big trouble? Well, just the other day I did. Needing a new supply of Dewdrops of Grace books for some upcoming book signing events, I went online to the publisher, an Amazon company, and ordered 100 copies. Wanting them sent to Arizona and not Illinois, I called the helpline to assure that I had left no stone unturned in the change-of-address process. I double-checked again, right before clicking “Place Order,” to be sure the shipping address said Mesa, Arizona.
The day the books were supposed to arrive, they didn’t. The next morning I realized they hadn’t come, so I checked the tracking on the computer, where I was informed that my package was “not deliverable at this address.” I wasn’t sure whether to blame Amazon or UPS – surely I wasn’t at fault! A careful look at the shipping address on the UPS website revealed that instead of 85208 the ZIP Code read 58208. Well, somebody had obviously goofed!
When I checked my Amazon account, I saw that I was the guilty party. I had entered the incorrect ZIP code when I changed the shipping address. Through my carelessness, the two reversed digits had caused my two boxes of books to be sent to Fargo, North Dakota! Boy, did I feel like a dummy! I quickly corrected the information on the Amazon site. Then I called UPS, told them I had made the mistake, and asked, “Now what?” As it turned out, the boxes were about to be returned to Amazon. They said I had called just in time to rescue them, and they delivered them the next day.
There are undoubtedly lots of lessons in this little incident besides the importance of accuracy in ZIP codes. I was reminded of the scripture in Song of Solomon 2:15 where he says it’s the little foxes that spoil the vines. In the same way that two little digits could send two big boxes almost 1,800 miles away from their intended destination, even “small” sins can cause big problems in our lives if they aren’t dealt with.
The people at UPS weren’t mad at me, and God isn’t mad at us when we sin. He doesn’t even remember our sins (Hebrews 8:12). But we can’t just leave them sitting there. I had to change the ZIP Code in my Amazon account. I couldn’t leave it there, incorrect, and expect future packages to be delivered in a timely manner – if at all! Likewise, we need to go to God and admit our mistake, then we must turn and go a different way. Once we’ve dealt with it in this way, it’s over. We can walk in the freedom of knowing that we are forgiven (Hebrews 10:11-18). And now that I have fixed that little two-digit reversal thing, I can expect future shipments to arrive at the right place, and on time!