The Long Way Around
All of us have had someplace to go… someplace we wanted to be. Something fun and exciting we wanted to do… a schedule to keep or a deadline to meet.
Well, that was me on Friday August 1, 2014.
I was scheduled to leave work early that Friday, so I made plans to spend the afternoon at Pullman Square Starbucks. Looking forward to some alone time while enjoying my favorite coffee and working on a special project. I really couldn’t wait to leave work just so I could begin “my time”.
The clock struck 11:00am and I headed for the parking lot.
‘Yes, I’m out of here! I can be at Pullman in 20 minutes… some me time!” That’s what I thought until I got to my car.
That’s when I saw a nearly flat tire… and yes, it was on my car.
Really? Why now? What to do?
Regrettably and drudgingly I drove the car to the Huntington Mall (nearest tire service and the opposite direction from Pullman where I was planning to go.)
The representative replied back. “That will cost $30 and we can get to you in 3 hours.”
Hmm. I quickly decided that was too long to wait.
So I moved on trying to remain calm and knowing all the while that “my time” was evaporating right before my eyes. I drove slowly across the mall lot to the next tire service, parked and walked in. There I explain my dilemma.
The tire representative said “That will cost $20 and we will call you when it’s finished.”
Hmm. I thought. It’s $10 bucks less but “they will call me?” Where will I be for them to call me? I was standing right in front of them.
While driving west bound on I64 I was weighing my options. Should I go to Pullman and enjoy what was left of “my time” risking the tire? Or should I take the long way around and stop at one more tire establishment? Understanding the tire had to be repaired I decided to make one more stop hoping to get it fixed. It was the long way around.
This is when my day really started to make sense to me.
I walked into the tire service and explained my poor self.
The representative replied back. “That will be $15 and we can get to you in 15 minutes”
Hmm. I said OK, Let’s do it!
Yea, it was 15 bucks which was lower than the last price which was lower than the first price. But that is not what got my attention. It was the fact this place could repair my tire in 15 minutes! Then I could be on my way!
I walked outside to wait. It was a beautiful day to be outside. While standing there I noticed the man working on my car. The thought came to me to start a friendly conversation with him. We had some small talk and while chatting I felt that this would be a great opportunity to witness to him… so what did I do???
Yea, you guessed it. I didn’t witness and our conversation ended. I walked away head held low.
Then I sent a text to my wife explaining where I was and what had happened and how my day was not going to plan. I was looking for some sympathy. Ha!
She replied back and said, “Use this time to witness to someone”…
I couldn’t believe it!!! I was thinking the same thing minutes earlier.
Finally, waking up from the “all about me slumber” and realizing why GOD had chosen THE LONG WAY AROUND. I walked back to the man; he told me his name is Dylan and he looked to be around 30yrs of age. I asked him if he went to church. His reply was “no not much”… He started sharing and told me about his cousin who is a minister and how God changed his cousin from a rough way of living to a Christian way of life. Dylan knew God had changed his cousin.
Dylan said that his cousin has asked him to attend church. He often turns down the invitation. So I started encouraging Dylan to consider going the next time and reminded him how close we are to the return of Jesus…. Sharing how God loves us and wants us to spend eternity with Him. I also explained that God will help us do what is right in our lives if we allow Him to.
And right there outside on the parking lot with the sun beaming down, I saw a tear in Dylan’s eye. He started sharing more how he works two jobs and doesn’t have much time for himself (I quickly forgot about “my time”)… and how he was going to court regarding his children and family. He said he didn’t want to lose them. His heart was broken and I could see the hurt in his eyes.
I asked him if he wanted to pray. He said sure and so we did right there while he tightened the lugs on the tire with a tear in his eye.
We finished and I stepped back into the office to pay.
The sales representative said “That will be $10.”
Hmm. I said really?
Each time the price went down, $30 to 20 to 15 to 10!
For me it was God’s way of showing me He was ordering my steps…
Jesus took the long way around more than once. One of those times was in Samaria where He met the woman at the well. You can read that story here. John 4
Do you know God will direct your steps? Well, He was directing mine that day and I have a feeling He will direct us every day if we are willing. Leading us to opportunities where we can help others and share the news of Christ…
Let’s be willing… even if it is THE LONG WAY AROUND.
Let’s run our race with endurance… focusing on Jesus, THE CHAMPION of our Faith Run.