Flat Tire

My day changed in an instant. A second before I was driving to meet my family at soccer practice, to then drive together to a birthday party, and a second after I was on a side road with a flat tire. When I say flat, I don’t mind a hard to find puncture. I mean a gash so big that even Costco tire services laughed at it when it saw it. I had a spare tire, but to add insult to injury, the spare was extremely low on air, which meant I had to walk home, get my air pump, and walk back in order to fill it, with hopes that my spare wasn’t flat too. Then, as I mentioned, we drove to Costco in hopes they could get us a new tire. But apparently, our car is so antique that they do not carry the size of tires my car needs anymore.

I spent a great portion of my day dealing with this flat tire. I was sweaty, dirty, dehydrated and understandably annoyed. Additionally, and this may only happen to me, I get very self conscious when I have to do something on a public road. It was as if all of Lincoln was judging my manliness while I was changing that tire. Needless to say, I was very happy when I finally made it home.

My Sunday adventures made me think of our attitude when confronted with daily challenges, big and small. Honestly, I was surprised by how calm I remained. In the past, I would have gotten extremely frustrated. I would have felt personally insulted by the deceased tire, who surely had something against me to motivate it to sabotage my day. I would have also complained to God and asked, with no economy of sarcasm, why couldn’t the Lord’s servant have a day off. An easy, peaceful, cruise-control like twenty four hours. Finally, I would have lamented that these kinds of things only happen to me, and envied those car-abled people merrily going about their Sunday fun. Yet, praise be to the Good Gardener, I kept it together this last Sunday. I even laughed about it. One thing is clear: my flat tire wasn’t a divine judgment. Nor was my fate unique to me, as we all experience flat tires of many different kinds, on a regular basis. There was nothing wrong about my Sunday plans, that somehow conflicted with God’s plans for my Sunday. My flat tire was simply the unavoidable experience of living in a world where things, and people, go flat. Break. Act unreliably. Give up on us. Sometimes, they tragically die.

Where was God in all of it? Making sure that a flat tire wasn’t the end of me. Or the end of you. Jesus told his disciples the following: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). Our Savior and Friend clearly stated that flat tires are unavoidable in this dark, old and tired earth. Not even He could avoid them! Yet, He reminded us that no matter how horrible your Sunday, or your life may be, He loves us, and because of it, He lived and died and resurrected so that life will ultimately be for us what He meant it to be before the foundations of the earth were created. To that, I say, Amen!

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