A few weeks ago I took a day trip to see two of my girlfriends who live a little over an hour from our newest location. Ironically we were all on a football staff together years ago, and after being scattered to three different states we’ve all recently moved back to Illinois.
On my way home it started to pour rain and an impatient semi-truck flew past me causing my car to spin out of control. I quickly ended up in a ditch miraculously without hitting anything or anyone. I hit the OnStar button on the mirror and within seconds was speaking with a clear headed, calm person who knew exactly how to help me.
A speedy assessment of myself and the car revealed that everything was intact, but due to the rain and muddy grass I was in, I would need some help to be on my way. It’s football season, so my first instinct was to just handle things myself, but timing wise I knew I wouldn’t be home in time to meet the boys from school, so I sent a text to Ordell letting him know what was going on.
By the time the State Policeman arrived I had explained the same story four times. Twice to the OnStar worker and twice to Ordell. The policeman took a quick assessment and said, well, you will be on your way soon. There’s nothing wrong here. You were really lucky!
Within a few minutes, the tow truck arrived and the assessment was the say. “Boy, did you luck out!” were the first words I heard him say. By this point, I was past the shock of landing in a ditch and was ready to be on my way. So when the tow truck attendant asked to get started I hopped out of the car and handed over my keys.
By the time I turned around after walking a few steps to get out of the way he had driven my Equinox up onto the side of the road. It had taken exactly 30 seconds.
The policeman and I turned and stared at each other both clearly shocked. The OnStar rep was yelling repeatedly for me to please respond. I told her the car was up on the road and to please hold on, I needed to know how this had happened.
The tow truck attendant simply shrugged. “I turned off your traction control, it was stopping you from getting going.” I asked him where to do that in case I found myself in a ditch in the future and he showed me a button easy to reach, a button I haven’t touched in the 2 years I’ve had the car.
I had all the tools at my disposal to get myself back on the right road the whole time.
The thing is, even though I had the tools, I wasn’t using them. But I did the next best thing. I asked for help. We were created for relationship, and sometimes we just need a reminder that we don’t need to do things by ourselves.
We Aren’t Ever Alone
The OnStar attended was well trained. She knew exactly what to ask me and did a great job of anticipating my needs. In fact, when the tow truck arrived she informed me that it was already paid for. I didn’t even have to ask, she just did it.
God does this for us every day in more ways than we could ever know. I love this section of scripture in Psalm 73. “You have taken hold of my right hand.” This isn’t a request, it’s something that the writer has realized God already did.
Behavior Isn’t A Factor
God isn’t expecting us to act a certain way in exchange for his presence. My car didn’t spin off the road because of something I did or didn’t do. In fact, I was doing everything correctly, it was the semi who decided it was important to drive 80 mph in a 70-speed limit zone during a rain storm where most cars had slowed to 60.
Sometimes We Need A Guide
My car was fully equipped to drive out of the ditch, but the right tools needed to be used. I’ve checked the manual that was in the car since this event and to be honest, I wouldn’t have found the information I needed on my own. There isn’t a section for getting out of a ditch and the explanation wasn’t all that clear.
Both the OnStar attendant and the policeman assumed the car was stuck without suggesting I press the traction button. Whether that is because they assumed I had already tried that or didn’t know it was an option I’m not sure. Regardless, the right person arrived and guided me towards the solution I needed.
“With your counsel, you will guide me.” Not only did the attendant explain how he got my car to move, he took the time to teach me how to do things for myself in the future. I don’t expect to land in many ditches, but then again, I didn’t plan the adventure I had.
The whole ordeal lasted less than an hour and there haven’t been any residual issues. I think that most of the time the bumps in the road of our life journey can be classified the same way. Inconvenient, but quick. Irritating to deal with, but easy to move past with the right help. So here’s my best advice. When you find yourself in a ditch, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and keep an eye out for the guide who can give you advice for the present, and possibly the future. And one last tip; don’t forget who is holding your hand the whole time.
**Dear family reading this for the first time. Don’t stress, there isn’t anything you could have done in the moment and all is well. Love ya!