Today, I received resounding proof that God watches over and loves me -- or at least loves me when I'm an utter idiot.
First, some background. As you may know, I'm taking the bar exam on Tuesday. However, in what is probably best described as equal parts loyalty and hubris, I spent this past weekend in Casper, Wyoming to be a groomsman in my college roommate's wedding (Congrats, Bob and Sarah!). This entailed flying to Denver, renting a car, driving four hours to Casper, partying all night long like a good Carleton alum, then waking up at 8 AM this morning to drive back to Denver and fly into DC (by way of Chicago).
A lot could go wrong there. But, amazingly, nothing did! The flights were smooth and on-time, the road trip went perfectly fine (given that I hadn't driven a car for any trip longer than a grocery run in several years, no small thing), the wedding was fantastic -- I even managed to strike a decent balance between sleep and celebration.
Indeed, everything was going great when I landed in Chicago's Midway airport for a layover on the way to DC. I called my mom to let her know where I was, and she told me that she had some roast beef waiting for me as well as a packet of bar materials on my desk.
"Packet of bar material." That rang a bell. I knew that it had been sent to Bethesda. I also knew that she had forwarded some of it to me in Chicago. It was the usual informational material: Directions to the site, how to use your laptop -- and a little slip of paper that says "TO TAKE THE MULTISTATE BAR EXAMINATION (MBE) YOU MUST DISPLAY THIS CARD AT YOUR SEAT NUMBER."
That card was still sitting in my apartment in Chicago.
I thought frantically. Could we scan the letter? I was doubtful they would accept that. Could we FedEx it overnight? Still probably wouldn't get here on time. My last, best hope was to call Jill and see if she could bring the material to me at the airport.
I call Jill. She doesn't answer. I leave a message that was probably incomprehensible. I then text message her, trying to balance between conveying the urgency with which I needed to speak with her without causing her to worry I'd been shot. I call Jill back. She picks up.
"Are (gasp) you (gasp) at the apartment?"
"No, I'm at Potbelly's."
That's okay. That's not far from the apartment. I explain to her the situation, and she rushes home. Long story short, she finds the materials, and catches a cab to the airport. I meet her outside, grab the paper and kiss her while yelling "I always love seeing you but I particularly love seeing you now!", rush back through security, and am back at the gate with 30 minutes before my flight departs. All is good.
Now, let's pause to reflect on just how many ducks had to line up here such that complete disaster was evaded:
(1) It was essentially an off-hand remark that caused me to remember I needed this slip of paper in the first place. Had my mom not mentioned a different packet of paper, or had I had not called her when I landed in Chicago, I wouldn't have remembered at all.
(2) Jill could have not picked up the phone. Or she could have been having dinner across town. Or she could not have been able to find the papers. Or she could have had trouble finding a cab. Or there could have been a traffic jam (it was rush hour).
(3) I had no reason to be in Chicago! I happened to have a layover there. But there are direct flights from Denver to DC. Hell, there are plenty of other cities one can stop in on the way to DC. That I happened to stop in this one, and have a layover long enough for Jill to get home, pick up the papers, and get to the airport without me missing my flight, is nothing short of amazing.
So yes, I credit some Divine Intervention. Which makes Jill -- literally -- a heavenly messenger (not that I needed any proof of that).
And how will this effect the actual taking of the bar, you ask? Well, I guess I could let it rattle me. But I prefer to analogize it to that scene in The West Wing where, just prior to the presidential debate, Abby cuts off Jed's tie. The frenzied chaos that ensued to avert catastrophe gave President Bartlet the adrenaline rush he needed to have a brilliant performance.
So it is only appropriate the words Jill left me with: "Game on, boyfriend."