I am known for insane road trips. I wonder, if it were possible to tally up all the miles I've driven back and forth across the country, just how many it would be. I suspect it would be in the millions. For three years, we journeyed back and forth from Brookings SD to Kingston Springs TN about once a month - That alone tally's to 70,000 miles in three years. Then there was the trip that took us from Brookings, to Missouri, then to NJ/NY, and back again in less than a week. Or the countless times I've driven from TN to CT. That's a total of 2030 each round trip. I could go on and on.
My favorite past time when my family would tolerate it is to be like my father and sing in the car. I remember one trip with my mother and my three oldest children (who were little at the time). I had a small cassette player (remember those?) with two small speakers. Sitting on the dash board it looked like a miniature stereo set. I listened to Maranatha music and sang along. It isn't that my singing is bad, it's just gets repetitious I suppose.
I always like to start early. We did. We hit a slow down just west of Knoxville. Yes, we overheated. The toggle switch fix didn't work so well. But, the car cooled and off we went. Just east of Knoxville, swoosh, kerplunk, kerplunk - a tire blew. I pulled over contemplating what to do. My cell phone, while not the original brick cell phone, was huge and didn't pick up a signal. A good Samaritan stopped with his wife and put the spare on.
While this was going on, my daughters, under the leadership of their oldest sister found a stream. They took pennies and with a prayer, threw them in the stream. The idea was that if they floated past a certain place, we'd have a safe trip. I found out later that they didn't. Nevertheless, this activity gave the girls hope.
We found a K-Mart in Sevierville. Money was very limited. I opted for a meal at Shoney's anyway. We relaxed. As I paid for the tire, my daughters, again at the direction of their sister, went to a local Baptist church. They found the pastor and asked him to pray for our trip. He prayed. He asked God for "no more incidences" and a safe trip.
I don't know why God doesn't answer some prayers. Two-hundred miles later, at dusk, in the rain, literally on top of a mountain in Virginia I hear that sound again. The other rear tire blew. No cell signal, little money, four females alone - one starts to cry - I wanted to cry. One decides to be a hero and look for help. I tell her no but she goes anyway. Finally, the cell phone was able to connect with AAA. Help was on the way. But where was my eldest daughter, the hero?
The weeping child said, "Mom, I think we should pray." I agreed. A simple prayer and as I said Amen, there she came across the interstate. Her faith was shaken, so was mine... what about "no incidence?" It's one of the questions you have no answer for - but what I do know is somehow we made it to Connecticut a day late but safe.
I have more calamity stories on long trips - coming back from NYC on Metro North at 1 a.m. to find my van with two flat tires in the garage in New Haven... that was fun... same two younger girls with me that time too. Or the trip back home through Queens on the Van Wyck with four children and my daughter-in-law when the radiator blew. That was even more fun!
However, the point of all this is that while sometimes in the midst of things we don't know where God is - He still is always there and somehow, He gets us through.