Thursday, April 10, 2008

Perspective is Everything, part II

We have driven a 1993 Chevy Suburban for the last seven years. It was donated to our family in 2002, back when we had four children. It served us well as we drove down to and back from Orlando, Florida, up to and back from Anchorage, Alaska, and all points in between. The Suburban now has almost 300,000 miles on the engine, and with the addition of two children, every seat is filled. We needed a new car.

Late this past winter, when we thought we were going to need another seat in the Suburban, we decided to look for a 12 passenger van. The Lord provided a 2001 Chevy Express with less than 60,000 miles on it, for a very VERY good price. Though it was located in Marquette, Michigan, we found a couple who drove it to Spokane, WA for less than it would have cost to fly out and get it ourselves. Easter Sunday, after celebrating the resurrection of Jesus and enjoying lunch with some dear friends, we headed to Spokane to pick up our new van.

Just over an hour into our journey, we suddenly lost cruise control. After trying, unsuccessfully, to restart the engine, my husband was able to coast our powerless vehicle to the side of the road. And, there we sat, for over two hours, with six children packed into a small enclosed space. It was definitely a recipe for disaster. Then things got worse.

After more than 90 minutes sitting stranded on the roadside, Mom started to get pretty frustrated. It was obvious we needed help! Still, car after car drove by without so much as slowing down. As I became more and more irritated, my tone with the children changed. I became short; snappy; sharp. Just as I was really starting to feel anger towards the heartless motorists who seemed oblivious to the drama playing out in my back seat, one of my daughters uttered a phrase that gave me a whole new perspective. Her words; The Lord is Risen.

Now, if you don't go to church all that often, you may not realize that the appropriate response is, "He is Risen Indeed." It is a greeting I've taught my children because of my great love for Easter, when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. We'd been saying it to each other with great joy just hours ago. The night before, I'd been so excited as I thought about the precious truth that because Jesus died on the cross for my sins I didn't have to and could go to Heaven to be with Him that I couldn't sleep! It was just the ticket to give me some much needed perspective.

Even though cars were still flying by at more than 70 miles an hour, even though we were still all sitting in a small space, with children filling every passenger seat (and their stuff filling everywhere else), and even though we had no idea what was wrong with our car, how much it would cost to fix it, or how long we'd be stuck on the side of the road, Jesus was alive and we could look forward to Heaven! Perspective was everything.

You know, my children actually remember the time fondly! We ate Easter candy, played some crazy games and I read aloud from a favorite book. Finally, when it became obvious that the car was going to need professional attention, my husband called a tow-truck and we got a ride back to the closest town. The tow truck driver dropped us off at a restaurant close to the Chevy dealership, where ALL SIX of our children ATE FOR FREE. God was taking care of all the details, and Jesus was alive again. Little else mattered.

We're home now. Our Suburban is fixed (it was the ignition module; who would have thought your ignition was so important?!) and our van runs beautifully. We took 9 kids to a church function the other day, and still had room for more. It was a huge blessing. But, more than the van, I'm thankful for the perspective I gained that night. Life is hard. Even Jesus said so. But it is ok. Jesus said in John 16:33 "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Knowing that, I can face almost anything.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

That's a great looking van... and an even better looking family! Can't believe how big everyone is getting!