My apologies for the twenty four hour delay in this week’s Monday News. Our camping adventure tells the story.
No Service … camping in the mountains, far from civilization and cell phone service has it’s advantages. The solitude and retreat from the normal pace of life is replenishing. No calls, no texts, no email, no tweets . . . it’s a welcome break . . . except when it’s time to leave and your car breaks down. That’s what happened on our last day of camping. We we woke up Sunday morning, had breakfast and proceeded to stuff our three vehicles with empty coolers, dirty laundry and camping equipment, no small chore in the pouring rain! But we soldiered ahead and were ready to go on time. As we started our engines we discovered that one of the trucks would not start. That is when we realized that breaking down in the mountains of upstate New York is different from breaking down a mile from Auto Zone or anywhere in cell phone range. That is when we realized that our prospects were not looking good.
My sons rallied to help for the next two hours but we soon realized that the best course of action was to send most of them home. Chris and I spent the next 24 hours attempting to fix the problem in the pouring rain with Cynthia offering moral support and food. We tried jumping the battery, checking the spark plugs, the coil and we even removed the distributor cap and attempted to dry it with a propane torch. At one point we drove 1 hour to Binghamton, NY in order to purchase a replacement part. In the course of the ordeal I changed clothes three times and took two showers. Finally we gave up for the night, unpacked and went to bed. The next morning we drove ten miles into town, located a garage and asked for help only to be informed that we were the third party that morning that needed a tow. Four hours later we negotiated to leave the truck with the mechanic and began our journey home still wet and soggy but satisfied we could do nothing more.
In the comfort of my home I am still not sure the lesson God wants to teach me but I am praying that he will show me. At one point on Sunday morning while waiting in the pouring rain I was reminded of a passage from Ps. 139:1-6 that I had read the previous day at our dinner table. One verse in particular came to mind, “… you hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.” (v.5). I was deeply comforted by the fact that, although our plans were interrupted, His plans for our lives was right on schedule. By God’s grace no tempers flared and no regrettable words were spoken. I am sure that one day soon we will recount the event with laughter and gratitude.