I spend an exorbitant amount of time behind the wheel. I know exactly what to do when the car starts to, for example, skid out of control due to the black ice on I-25. Stay calm. Turn into the skid. Don’t slam on the brakes. Inform the seven teens in the car, five of whom are not my offspring, to never, ever, ever, mention to anyone that I just said “Sh*#.” And tell them when I was calling out the name of the Lord, it was absolutely, positively, NOT in vain. Phew! We’re all fine – see, I know exactly what to do.
I live in the sticks, out where the pavement ends. We stick-dwellers know how to drive. Know how to drive on dirt. Know how to drive in the mud. Regular mud and clay mud. When it snows three inches in town, it snows three feet out here in the sticks. “You have to be kidding?! Soccer practice isn’t canceled?” I bundle up and proceed to pass through two climate zones on my way to town. I arrive at the soccer field to find my car is the only one covered with snow. Yes, I get a lot of practice driving in snowy conditions. I have a very, maybe overly, maybe obsessively, healthy respect for icy roads. Maybe it has to do with that time on I-25 with seven teens in my car. Maybe not.
I know how to drive in the snow and ice and I am obsessively cautious, so how on earth did I end up in the ditch?! What did I do wrong? I did all the right things, yet there I was, in the ditch. Good grief! Since we were in a hurry and I didn’t think we’d be getting out of the car until we’d arrived in the tropical zone of town, neither of us bothered with coats or boots. Did I mention that I live in the sticks? There isn’t any cell service in the sticks. After our failed attempt at pushing ourselves out I was feeling pretty badly that my soccer player had snow in his soccer shoes and up to his hips and his lips were blue. I prayed: God, I’m mortified that I ended up in the ditch, please don’t let anyone pass here and see us. And I prayed: God, please send someone to help us. This is sometimes how my prayers go. Conflicted prayers.
A few minutes later, a nice-guy-rancher-dude in an awesome rancher-dude truck pulled up. “Like me to pop you out of there?”
“Umm, Please?” He hopped out of his truck and secured a monster chain to my car, backed his truck up and attached the chain to it.
“Righty then, just don’t give it too much gas.”
Two seconds later the car was out of the ditch. I thanked the nice-guy-rancher-dude, he tipped his hat, bid me good day, and drove off.
We go through life, most of us, with a good idea of what we’re doing. We know how to manage and we’re pretty well adjusted and successful. We hit the icy spots, recover, and we are fine. Occasionally though, life’s ice and gravity gets the best of us and we end up in a ditch praying: God, I don’t want anyone to know I’m struggling. And, God, please send help. God answered both my prayers. I am so grateful that nice-guy-rancher-dude showed up to help me and not Saturday-Night-Live-Church-Lady-rancher-dude.