In the dark of a winter morning, I set off for university. I’m a Distance Education student and needed to pick up the month’s bus pass—the shiny card that makes key connections in my day possible while cutting transportation costs.
I had planned my schedule with precision. The university is clear across town from where I live. I had to make it there, buy the pass, double back, and make it to work on time. I only factored in a slim margin for delays, as the buses run on a strict schedule and the kiosk’s opening hours are posted online.
I reached the kiosk ten minutes early and sat on a nearby bench to wait. The opening time came and went. The kiosk remained dark and shuttered. The seconds kept ticking by, and the booth was still closed.
I went to the students’ union office and asked if they had heard about the kiosk opening late. No, there hadn’t been an announcement of any change in opening hours, and the info posted on the kiosk walls still matched the online information. The best they could do was offer me a place to wait. Someone thought the kiosk would open at 9 am, but that was when I had to be at work. Fail.
I sat in the union office and stewed for a few minutes. As I grumbled to myself, I noticed that there was someone in the booth, setting up for the day.
Explain your situation and ask, Thought Number 1 said.
The kiosk is clearly not open yet!came Thought Number 2.
What does it hurt?—the voice of Thought Number 1—Just ask.
So I did. I went to the counter and explained my circumstances to the lady behind the shutters. I asked if I could buy the pass even though she hadn’t officially opened yet.
“Sure, no problem,” she said, and she pushed the card reader through the bars. I paid for my pass, thanked her, and was off. I got to work just in time.
It was so simple. How many answers, how many opportunities have I missed out on because I failed to ask? An answer or solution may not be available every time; but for the most part, I have nothing to lose, and possibly something to gain, if I’ll just ask.
It’s a principle that goes for God too: “You don’t have because you don’t ask. Ask, and you will receive.”1