Tuesday, April 20, 2010

In Other Words--Trifling Circumstances or Grand Adventure?


Let me tell you about our weekend adventure. Our company car lease had come to an end and we received a new car on Friday. It has a great "sports" mode that makes it feel more "race-car" and German wanted to try it out. So Sunday after church we loaded up and went a couple hours up the road to the "Lake District" which is where the tallest mountains in England are located. Some great winding roads. Totally amazing scenery. Our destination was a little steam train that we planned to travel on through the sheep pastures whilst watching the baby lambs frolic in the fields. It was a perfect day.


Until we stopped at the train depot and in a casual walk around the car, German discovered that the front tire had a tear from end to end and was losing air fast. Did I mention that the train depot was on top of the mountain? Did I mention that there was no phone service up there (and the lady in the depot was not willing to let us use their phone either?) It might also be worth mentioning that these are "run flat" tyres so no spare is included in the car. uh-oh

We did not ride the train. Instead we edged about half way down the mountain to a little village where we found a pay phone. Help was dispersed to collect the car and us on the recovery truck and take us to our home where we could get the tyre fixed on Monday (hopefully). Two and a half hours later the recovery truck arrived. YAY!!! It took almost four hours to drive the eighty miles home in the truck with the car on it. Home hadn't looked so good in a long time!

Whilst we were waiting for the recovery truck, German was apologising for the day being ruined. I wouldn't hear it. I told him we had a choice, we could be frustrated or we could celebrate God in it:
*the day was gorgeous
*there was no rain (a rarity in the Lake District)
*we had seen the tear before the tyre totally came apart, possibly causing an accident or being on a one-track mountain road with nowhere to stop
*there was a pay phone
*there was an actual car park beside the pay phone and not just a lay-by
*there were public toilets beside the car park (which both girls needed during the wait)
*there was a trail leading to the Japanese Gardens leaving from the carpark that allowed the girls to burn energy and use part of the time. We would have never seen it without the tyre trouble
*the lease company has a recovery program so we were not stuck in the middle of nowhere
*the girls were going to get to ride in a truck (which they thought was tremendously exciting--at least for the first hour)

The truth is, I would not have always seen the adventure in the experience. I could have easily been frustrated, irritated and condemning. The day had been about German "playing" in the new car, but it had also been about letting our minds go and not dwelling on things that are frustrating. For the last year, we have found ourselves in the midst of "trifling" circumstances with difficult people. We have seen God lead us on a path that most of our friends, and our church family in particular, criticized, ridiculed and attempted to thwart. We have had many relationships totally severed and others damaged beyond human repair. Yet in all of that, God has repeatedly taught us to lean on his love and wisdom.

"If monotony tries me
and I cannot stand drudgery;
if stupid people fret me and
little ruffles set me on edge;
if I make much of the trifles of life,
then I know nothing of Calvary love."

~If: What Do I Know of Calvary Love?~
~Amy Carmichael~

Through the drudgery of life we have learned to choose God's blessing in it rather than strive against it. That is what we did on Sunday. And because German and I chose that, the girls did not see Sunday as trifling or trying. Instead they stood on the rocky "stage" and sang praise songs for almost an hour. They laughed and ran and giggled as the driver loaded the car. Hopefully our attitudes demonstrated something of God's love to the driver who had to take us four hours to our home and then return at least three hours to his base.

The icing on the cake? Yesterday as Flower and I went for a walk she said, "Mum, I really loved our adventure Sunday. Can we do it again?" I laughed and said probably not any time soon. And I thanked God that she saw joy in the circumstances.

As for the car? Well, there were no tyres that fit the car in the country. It has to be brought across Europe. And since there are no airplanes...hopefully one will arrive by truck on Friday. Until then, the car sits in the garage. But it makes me smile everytime I see it.

Visit Patricia at Typing One-Handed to see her take on this great quote and follow the links to other participants.


Tami Boesiger said...

Well done, friend!

I feel the pain of the last year in your words. My prayers remain with you and your family. Trust God is working.

Debbie said...

What an incredible story of your Sunday! I love how you chose to respond in a positive way. The points you made were so good as you recognized what was good about it. I'm sure it was very frustrating but I think you taught your children a good lesson.

You can't always choose your circumstances but you can choose your response to those circumstances.

Blessings and happy driving with good tires!


Patricia said...

Great attitude! Your children will treasure the memory of that trip for life... and your response to it means that it was a wonderful life and growth lesson out of a trial.

Thank you for participating today! Your words are so encouraging.

Karen said...

That was a great story and adventure. I like the outcome where you decided you could either be frustrated or look at it at a different angle. In all we do we have that choice of being bitter or better, negative or positive, trusting or mistrusting. Life's a choice. What you chose was definitely better when it comes to attitude (maybe not so when it comes to choosing the right car to take for a long drive) Just teasing! Hi, I'm back this week aren't you glad!!!! Don't answer that!

Nic said...

Oh, sweet friend, what a wonderful story and an enduring memory for the girls! An amazing teaching moment about what to do in those curcumstances instead of what not to do! Bless you and your family for having such a fantastic attitude about it all! I truly loved reading about it. :-)

P.S. I too am so glad you're back, dear friend! Much love and prayers...

Missie said...

What an inspiring story!

Adrian said...

Good lesson learned!

Kristin said...

You always teach me something and leave me thrilled to be able to call you my friend. Thanks for sharing this with us.