Saturday, June 29, 2019
The Hitchhikers Guide to Salvation
Ever had one of THOSE days?
You know, the ones where your child who’s supposed to be in a ballet recital tonight gets sick all over the back seat of your van?
What do you do with those?
I didn’t have the answers either but what I did have was a crying 9 year old, an overly concerned 7 year old, and a sick 5 year old.
As my wife and I took turns calling people to let them know the tickets they paid for were still going to a great show with plenty of talented dancers I took a quick moment to ask...
God, what are you doing with this?
My 9 year old was asking the same thing but much more vocally.
“Why did God let this happen?!?”
“We paid good money for those tickets and Dee was really looking forward to her recital!”
I’m not sure where she heard the money thing before but the rest of her comments I echoed again.
God, what are you up to here.
So I messaged a few people looking for something that my 9 year old and I could do, because what else do you do when you’re upset?
You go for a drive.
At least that’s what we do...
We met some friends down by the park and swung around on the playground for a while then went to dinner.
The sun was hot down by the bay and we sat outside on the patio for supper. Both still sighing and lamenting a bit over the fact that we didn’t get to see Dee do her ballet.
God, what ARE you up to?
At least she wasn’t saying it in frustration anymore. She was just enjoying chicken tenders and hand cut French fries.
Finally as we’re both sweating from the heat of the setting sun we finished up dinner and walked back down the beach to the car.
We start to drive home and I remembered that I wanted to get a gift card for food for a friend of ours so we pulled into the restaurant, walked in, and had a pleasant conversation with the lady at the counter about who this gift card was for.
“Sure sounds like a sweet family.”
“The sweetest.” I replied.
God, WHAT are you up to?
I’ve always found it a bit rude giving a gift card without a card explaining or celebrating the occasion so we made another stop, this time to Walmart, to get a nice card and a small gift bag.
I even let her decorate the bag once we got back in the car. A nice touch I might add because she’s a pretty talented designer for a 9 year old.
I get to their house and no one was home so we hang the gift bag from the door knob.
“Do you think they’ll see it?” She asks as we loop around their driveway.
“Oh yea, I bought a bright green bag for that very reason.”
“Wow! Never mind, they won’t miss THAT.” She says as we finally make it back out on the road from their driveway and it’s lit up like a beacon.
God, what are you up to?
With the play time over, dinner complete, and my mission to thank a friend over, we finally head back to the house.
It’s about a ten minute drive home from our friends house and it’s one I’ve made a hundred times before as it goes right by the house I grew up in.
These lilac covered Vermont Spring roads are home to me and I drink them in at every oppor.... wait, is that dude drunk?
He can’t even walk straight and he’s in the middle of the main road where the speed limit is 50mph.
I slow down.
“Are you ok Dadda?”
“Yea I’m just not really sure what’s up with that guy.”
She looks back, I keep driving.
The weight in my chest gets heavier and heavier telling me to turn around. I don’t really want to, I have my daughter in the car after all.
It is CRAZY to pick up people you don’t know with kids in the car.
“What are you doing, don’t turn around here!?!” The inner thoughts of my head continue even as I pull off to a spot that I can turn around.
“Are you going to go back and check on him Dadda?”
“Yes. Yes I am lady.”
“Ok...” she says meekly with a slight frown on her face.
I pull up in front of him. Great, he IS drunk.
“Just trying to get home.”
“Need a ride? It’s quicker than walking.”
“You heading to Georgia?”
“I am if you need a ride.”
“Thanks man, I appreciate it. I’ve been walking for three hours already and I have another 20 miles.”
“No worries man, hop in.”
My daughter is still watching from the back.
God, what are you up to?
The ride was filled with laughter and questions from my daughter. It turns out we know some of the same good people and our kids are about the same ages.
After about 20 minutes he is successfully dropped off but probably locked out of his house.
“I can’t help with that.”
“No worries man, thanks for the ride.”
And just like that it’s time for us to go home again.
As we get on the interstate to head back home I hear my daughter from the back seat;
“Dadda, does God ever talk to you?”
“Well lady, the entire Bible is the word of God so in that respect yes. Sometimes I do feel a strong sense, like something inside of me is pressuring me to do things though too.”
“Like picking up that man?”
“I don’t think I’ve ever really feel that.”
“Well you have to ask Him into your heart before He will speak to you openly like that.”
“How do I do that?” she asks.
“Well it’s simple, and we can do it right now. Do you want to?”
“Then repeat after me; Dear Lord, thank you for all you do for us and thank you for today. I believe that you are my Savior. That you died on the cross for my sins and rose again from the dead. I pray that you would forgive me of my sins. I thank you that you died so that I can live forever with you. In Jesus name, amen.”
“Yay, that was it?” She says excitedly.
“Yes, you are now one of His sheep.”
“...but what if I sin again?”
“You will, and He will still love you.”
God I see what You’re up to, and You are wonderful.
As we pull in the driveway I say one last prayer to myself;
“Lord, thank you for being in control of my daughters life. Thank you for using sickness to bring about life. Thank you for good friends to play with, for good food to eat, for beautiful sunshine to keep us warm, for friends who care about us and for the ability to return their kindness. Thank you for the stranger I picked up that sparked a conversation with my daughter that saved her eternal life. Thank you for dying so that her soul will live forever. Thank you for being in control of my life, and hers, amen.”
God, I see what you did, and I am in awe.
Laurance McGraw V