This week we joined the ranks of the many who have had to visit the tire repair man. At least we don't have to buy new tires--yet! Multiple people informed us that we should know that our left front tire was flat, very flat! That tire was on the car that drove me next door for lunch so that I wouldn't have to struggle with walking and getting there. I should have walked! But walking has been painful and difficult the past couple of weeks. Garry, in his kindness and love, filled up the tire from the air tank, in the rain!!!!! , and gave me a ride back home. I was so glad. But then with the rain and snow continuing, our van just had to sit kind of lopsided at a weird angle in front of the house with a sore foot. Finally, Garry made the decision to pump it back up again, refill the tank and make a run to get it fixed. He put 55 pounds in the tire and had 30 pounds when he got there! It was fixable, this time! So glad to not have to buy new tires--yet. The problem is that the rock crushed from one particular quarry is not good road rock. A couple of weeks ago, our street was chosen to receive rock from that quarry. Truck load after truck load was dumped on us! The rocks they put on were a 2inch crush--way way way too big for rock that does not act like the normal limestone. This "limestone" does not break up and acts more like cherty rocks that have sharp edges. It forms arrowheads--I personally call them pyramids. Whatever, the gravel has sharp pointed edges that puncture tires!!!! It all has made us very conscious of how many miles we want to drive on it and how slow we want to go. That big nasty rock might have been ok if we had had a frost boil spring. But we don't!! And it is going to be on the road forever now! We need 100 big corn/grain semi-trucks for several days--it might help a little!
We received a flat tire punishment for something that we didn't do! Have you ever thought about spiteful things to do when something bad happens that you had no part in causing? You want to punish the ones causing your distress. That is how we were tempted to feel and to do. We wanted to turn ourselves into judges. But we are not elected to that position. And in the overall big picture, God is the true judge. He watches us as we try to defend our actions. He is watching us fall into paths to sin. He watches us try to solve our problems when we should have just approached Him about it. He never punishes us for something another did. We will receive our own just punishment that we have earned.
Those sharp points and edges caused our flat tire. I am guilty of having pointed and sharp edges in my reactions to things that happen. My sharp points cause people to hurt. They hurt those I love or those that Jesus loves and they might not understand that that they are loved. Sometimes I am the receiver of points that hurt me, hurt my feelings. The sharp edges cut me down and hurt my feelings. I do not feel loved. I don’t want to interact with them. It was very hard to feel love, to even feel that God loved me when I received sharp points and sharp edges that cut me deeply. Don’t be guilty of cutting and jabbing. What would Jesus do?
There are broad roads and narrow roads, higher roads and low roads, steep and rocky roads, smooth valley roads. Each type of road represents a road path we chose to travel on in life. Satan makes way for us on roads he wants us on--broad ones, easy roads that lead us astray. God has promised to be with us on the difficult roads in life. He is ready to take and hold our hands to help us over and past the hazards that make our way difficult. He is going to help us avoid the numerous potholes along the way. Potholes of despair that lead to destruction.
There are many ideas, proverbs, and famous quotes about roads that all have insight into how to approach life--with God as our driver. I like them, maybe you will enjoy them along with me.
--Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations. People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness.
--“Difficult roads can lead you to beautiful destinations; and the beauty of humanity is in our shared mutuality and intrinsic reciprocity, you are never alone in your difficulty, we are all made of the same stardust!
--“Just because the road ahead is long, is no reason to slow down. Just because there is much work to be done, is no reason to get discouraged. It is a reason to get started, to grow, to find new ways, to reach within yourself and discover strength, commitment, determination, discipline.
--“I think life is like a road-trip because you never know your destination until you're there, you never know when there is traffic, if there is a diversion in your way or whether there's going to be a crash or a smooth road.
--“The path to Salvation is as narrow and as difficult to walk as a razor's edge.”
--Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you ride through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality.
--But no decision is as important as the one Jesus highlights in Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
--In John 14:6, Jesus equated himself to a road or more specifically, “the Way.” Jesus' life, death and resurrection are the roadway by which we have reconciliation to God. Without a road, every journey would take much longer, be much harder and make it less likely we would reach our destination.
An old familiar hymn tells us to press on--to higher ground! I’m pressing on the upward way, New heights I’m gaining every day; Still praying as I’m onward bound, “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.” I want to live above the world, Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled; For faith has caught the joyful sound, The song of saints on higher ground.
I want to scale the utmost height And catch a gleam of glory bright; But still I’ll pray till Heav’n I’ve found, “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.” Lord, lift me up and let me stand, By faith, on Heaven’s table land, A higher plane than I have found; Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.
One of my favorite things to do is a road trip. Some of my earliest memories are road trips with my father and family. I thought my father knew of the neatest places to road trip too. There was always something fun and interesting places to see. Some were long trips with new and beautiful things to see. Other trips did not take us far away. They were still just as fun and I still love those kinds of trips! I am so longing to have my father and my Father take me on new places of discovery and beauty and history in the future to come. I can hardly wait! How about you?
As we have traveled on our many road trips we have lost things--accidentally lost them. Some just came up missing, some "fell off" the car. We have lost hubcaps, parts from our camp trailer. We lost a tire off a car and a tire off the camp trailer. There have been missing toasters, tools, mufflers, running boards, lug nuts!! We regretted losing them. We missed them, greatly missed them. Many had to be replaced at great cost.
God wants us to lose things along the way. He wants us to lose them on purpose, not accidentally. We are told to lose the bad, the dross. God will not help us pick up the bad, but He will help us keep what is good and true. Satan is hoping we will lose things too. He is hoping that we will lose the good and keep the dross. He is not going to help us pick up the pieces. Instead, he stands by gleefully clapping his hands over our loss.
My heart has no desire to stay - Where doubts arise and fears dismay; Though some may dwell where those abound, My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.
Have a safe trip!