Friday, November 25, 2011

On the Road of Life

I just returned from a short trip to a cold place that shall not be named.
This road trip began like countless ones we embarked on before. The sun was shining and the roads were clear and dry.

Although I was driving through one of the most scenic places on earth, I was actually looking forward to the end of this 1200 km journey. We had packed well for the trip; we had everything we needed for any emergency. We packed in 24 bottles of water, snacks and food to keep me going for 24 hours, an emergency kit, and a shovel in case we needed to dig ourselves out.
Upon arrival at our destination, we went up to the front desk and were greeted by the hotel manager who instinctively knew our names. I had a bad feel about the situation. It’s never a good thing when the manager comes out to personally greet you. True to my gut feeling, we were told they had oversold and rebooked us at a different hotel. My old nature, wearied by the 12 hour drive, wanted to react but we gave him grace to make amends, which he did. They paid for our hotel room that night and cut other fees and taxes so we ended up saving a bit of money.

“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.” Anonymous

I’ve learned that if things don’t turn out the way you’ve planned it, God always turn things around to suit His superior plan.

As we slept that night, a storm blew in and dumped a foot of snow in the minus 23 degree weather.
The next morning we had to get up earlier than we planned on and managed to get to my daughter’s convocation with five minutes to spare.
The rest of the time there was uneventful but I was ever conscious of His presence and favour.

Our return trip started with great promise of a smooth ride home, at least for the first three hours. Half an hour into the next leg of the journey, I hit the perfect storm; below zero conditions, blowing winds and snow made for total white-out conditions. Within half an hour, my rear windscreen was covered with 6 inches of snow rendering my wiper immobile. As I ploughed through a foot of snow on the highway, I attempted to stay on the road by following the wheels tracks of the car that was 20 feet ahead (I hope) and almost invisible to me. Every time an oncoming semi-truck would pass us, we would be blind for up to 3- 5 seconds. The worst scenario was when we would pass on a narrow bridge, with inches on either side.

It took us three hours to cover a short stretch of the highway, but I was so thankful and relieved when we finally made it out of the storm and into the next town.
The next 3 hours was smooth driving through compact snow conditions, but we had to face another storm in the last segment of our journey home.
It was so bad that that highway was closed a few hours after we arrived home! It was still close two days after! Phew!

By the time I got out of the last mountain pass, I had to make one last pit stop at the gas station. I had to get out of my car to stretch and celebrate, get out of my sweat-soaked jacket, and thank God for seeing us through this hazardous segment in our journey of life.

A day after the journey home, I read in the papers about two guys who lost their lives in this same storm system because they crossed the center median and crashed head on into a semi-truck. That could have been us!

“The Road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” Don Williams Jr.
Thanks to my faithful congregation that were praying for us during this trip!