Friday, December 27, 2013

Two keys for getting through life's storms ...

By the time I got to Chicago, I almost had to literally pry my fingers off the car's steering wheel. I had gripped the wheel so tightly, for so long, it actually hurt to uncurl my fingers.

The problem started back in Arizona.

I wasn't even 20 years old yet, and was heading to Chicago to make some money for a while to help for college. I left the Phoenix area in the late afternoon, and in northern Arizona it started to rain. By the time I reached New Mexico, the rain became snow, and that side of Albuquerque it quickly became a blizzard. Literally.

So heavy was the snow that I suddenly experienced white-out conditions. Then, flashing into my sight for just a second, was a sign to my right saying a motel was off the exit I could now barely see. I eased off the highway and found the small roadside motel where I got a room for the night. Within minutes the place was full of other travelers who happened by the exit.

The bad news came the next day. A major storm had left a wake of ice on the highways across multiple states. So slick were the roads that it took me all day just to get into Albuquerque proper. Another night in another motel room.

The next morning, I had to take stock of my situation. I was a poor older teen with little more funds than the cost of the trip. After two nights in motels, the remainder of my funds would have to go strickly for fuel and food if I was to make it to Chicago.

That meant, as I slipped and slided on the roads, I couldn't make any more stops along the way. No more motel rooms.

So as I pulled on the entrance ramp of the highway, I stopped to get out and assess the condition of the road. As I stepped out of the car, I immediately slipped and fell flat onto a sheet of ice. Struggling back onto my feet, I looked at the highway ahead. You could see the road was covered in ice. But worse, all along the road were vehicles strewn every which way --- semis, cars, pickups, mini vans
that had spun out and come to a stop in the median and all along the road for as far as I could see. It would be like driving through a used car lot situated on ice.

This was not going to be fun.

I got back into the car, put it into gear, and started driving.

Slowly.

Very slowly.

And I started praying.

I prayed my way across a few states, sometimes traveling no faster than 15 or 20 miles per hour, and still passing cars even at that slow speed.

I kept praying.

I couldn't stop because I couldn't afford to.

I finally arrived safely in the Chicago area, having overcome the storm. I made it because of praying and persevering. I put my journey into God's hands, and never stopped talking to Him all along the way; and I didn't stop, because I would be stuck if I did.

Two things safely brought me through that major storm: praying and persevering.

They still work in storms today.

Scotty

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