Have you ever had a flat tire? What were your first thoughts when it happened? Frustration? Inconvenience? Worry about what it would cost to get it fixed? Well, let me tell you what went through my mind when it happened to us last fall.
My husband and I were traveling though Scotland by car on a much anticipated trip, just the two of us. My brave-hearted Roy, was willing to drive on the left side of the road; I was the navigator and prayer warrior as we made our way along small winding roads, visiting historic castles and magnificent churches scattered throughout the beautiful countryside. You get the picture.
Our adventure started when we picked up our rental car and they asked if we wanted “tire insurance.” Never having heard of this before, and knowing we were in uncharted territory for us, Roy wisely discerned that this was a good idea, and the $200 turned out to be money well spent!
Our plan was to drive around the entire country of Scotland; it is smaller than the state of Indiana, so we thought that was doable. We wanted to see “everything” so we launched out on our adventure! We started in the capital, Edinburgh, then we wound our way through the lowlands, seeing many things including Stirling Castle with its statues of William Wallace (not the one that looked like Mel Gibson—that one, interestingly enough, “disappeared”) and Robert the Bruce. Then on to the Highlands and the Isle of Skye where there were beautiful waterfalls, “fairy pools” and lots and lots and lots of sheep. Some of the area is very undeveloped, with no civilization for miles and miles, so it was a lot of driving, but that was fine with us. I will email a sheep photo from Scotland if you want to insert it here.
That’s when it happened. In the middle of nowhere, on a “one way” road where you actually have to pull over to let cars pass from the other direction, we hit a hidden pothole on the edge of the road and bam—not one flat tire, but two– both tires on the left side of our car were toast, so to speak. It was very clear that God was telling us to slow down! (one of our Body & Soul fall session themes.)
Yep. Our ways are not God’s ways—Isaiah 55: 8,9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” God clearly wanted to slow us down in our pursuit of seeing “everything” and guide us to focus on him.
The first lesson was in trust—we waited and trusted–and a very nice Scottish gentlemen pulled over and helped us. Another wonderful Scottish gentleman loaded our car onto his tow truck and drove us to Inverness. The trust came in again as he drove quite “briskly” on the winding roads, telling us wonderful stories of his life in Scotland. Honestly, it felt a little like Mr. Toad’s wild ride—in the dark! It’s a good thing I had his stories to keep my mind busy! As we continued to talk, (it was a long way,) Roy turned the conversation to spiritual things and we got to share our “God-story”—something we never would have had the opportunity to do if were following our busy “tourist plan.” Our driver listened intently, asked and answered questions, and I think we left him with a lot to think about. It left us with lots to think about, too.
When all was said and done, we had a wonderful time walking around Inverness for a day while our car tires were being fixed, and our perspective changed to enjoying the trip in a whole new and much bigger way. I can actually say “thank goodness we were slowed down!” Because this happened, we were able to live life BIGGER, and experience the joys and beauty of our trip even more than before.
Living life BIG does not mean living life fast, as the first song in the session says, “Do Life Big” by Jamie Grace. “I gotta slow down, stop for a second and look around. I gotta take time to hear that little voice inside, saying I came to give you life, so spread your wings and fly. Now go and show no fear. You are enough to change the atmosphere-so go and do life BIG!”
When life gets frustrating as something “surprises” your day and slows you down, how do you respond? I encourage you to trust! God’s ways are bigger and better than ours. He’s got a plan—and sometimes it takes slowing down to see it clearly!
By Jeannie Blocher
Jeannie is the President and Founder of Body & Soul Fitness. She loves to teach, dance write and walk on the beach!