none of these activities are wrong. Many of them are actually very good. However, they leave little time for me to reflect and nurture my relationship with God and my love of Christ.
So I had an experience last week that really scared me and made me stop and reevaluate my goals and how I'm spending my time. So here’s the story. We have been doing some improvements to our 5-acre property, which involved the removal of many aging and unattractive trees. The goal was to improve the aesthetics of the land and give us better protection from wildfires. Once that was accomplished, we discovered that there were a lot of areas which needed to be reseeded, as the loggers had mulched the ground where the trees were removed. Who would have known that getting the best grass seed would be a challenge; but I was looking for grass that was drought-tolerant and slow-growing. Mowing the larger portion of 5 acres was not something I was looking forward to. So, after some research, I discovered a seed company in Tekoa, Washington which was about an hour's drive from our home. So on a beautiful, sunny day, I ventured South.
I activated my navigational system, plugged in the address and took off. I had personalized the audio on my system to have an Australian gentleman (whom I named “Mick,” as in the film Crocodile Dundee) give me the directions. All was well until I left Hwy 95. Then, things got complicated. First of all, it started snowing. Visibility was marginal. Mick initially seemed to be telling me all the correct directions, so I proceeded “to the route” as instructed. I let him do the thinking for me. I should have suspected that something was wrong when he directed me to a dirt road which (due to the recent rains) was really more of a mud road. I thought briefly about thinking for myself and turning around, but Mick was persistent. He insisted that I should continue on and that the designated address was drawing near. The road was really almost undrivable. My tires were sinking into the mud, I was weaving back and forth, and there was a sharp drop-off on one side.
The road (I use that term loosely) was set in the middle of rolling hills of winter wheat. It really was very beautiful. I saw several deer who looked astonished that there was someone actually on their road. That should have been my first red flag. Mick, in the meantime, was encouraging me to “proceed to the route.” After I had gone way further than a normal person would have gone, I stopped and contemplated turning around. The problem with that was that my tires were stuck in the mud, and every time I tried to turn, I got a little bit closer to the edge of the road and was in danger of rolling down the steep incline. Mick had let me down. I was totally isolated in the middle of rolling farmland, stuck and embarrassed that I had used such poor judgment. I thought about calling 911, but there was no signal. I thought I was on my own.
So I turned off Mick after giving him a brief scolding. And I sat. And I started to pray. I prayed for guidance, for safety and for forgiveness for not turning to God sooner. And I sat some more, visualizing my undignified demise: I would be found weeks later as I lay in my ruined car, buried at the bottom of a cliff, all because I didn’t think for myself; and when I needed Him the most, I didn't put my faith in God.
The end of the story is a happy one. Eventually, I felt God’s presence. I am certain His hand was there as I slowly extricated myself from this ridiculous situation. Once back on a regular road, I pulled over and gave thanks to the God who saved me. I know for a fact that I didn’t get out of there safely by myself. So the moral of the story is to always seek the Lord’s guidance when you encounter adversity. He will be there for you every time. I am forever thankful to know such an amazing and forgiving God!
Our staff is voluntold each week and with grace they share their thoughts.