Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sink or Swim

When this incident first happened to me, I (Ed) thought that there really is no fathomable way to spiritualize this embarrassing blunder.  Actually, one of my first thoughts was that I would be very sympathetic to the individual if he/she did something this stupid, but the reality is that it would never happen to me!  :-)  Maybe, that train of thought was enough for God to allow the mishap.  So...let me digress so that you all can have a good laugh and feel better about yourselves for a while.  Here is the story behind these photos.
Last Monday, I picked the older boys up from school and had just returned home.  As we were exiting the van I was talking to Tate about something and was not finished.  I got out in a hurry to continue the conversation.  In my haste I neither put the van in gear nor put the emergency brake on.  We finished our conversation and went inside.  The road out in front of our house is fairly flat, albeit not totally flat, a fact which I now know.  I was talking to Wendi in the foyer of our house when Gage ran in and said, "Dad, who is driving our van?"  It took a few seconds for that to register and just as it was registering, Jayce was looking out the front door and said, "Dad, why is our van moving?"  I looked out just in time to see my lovely, gray van gently passing by the front gate with the ease of a jogger in stride.  I grabbed the keys, sprinted out the door, through the gate, in front of the guy who was honking his horn (thinking someone was asleep in the van), and reached the far back corner of the van in time to send it down the forty-five degree hill and into the river that has rather large boulders lining the river bottom.

I looked at the van, and by this time, the guy honking his horn got out of his car and came to check on me.  He asked if any kids were in the van.  Blessing #1-No kids in the van!  I think he thought I was weird because I was smiling and not looking worried about what just happened.  Blessing #2  No fisherman out on the banks in front of our house that day...often they are!  Blessing #3  The river was very low because in the past our van would have become a boat!  I finished talking to him and called a friend who had the local firemen here in ten minutes.  Great...except that not much happens here in our little town, so they came through town with their lights on and sirens going.  A bit much in my personal opinion!  That in turn brought on more spectators coupled with the fact that the other side of the river is the town walking path.  Then the firetruck had to be sideways in the road, thus blocking traffic from both ways.  For some reason none of the people turned their cars around in order to avoid the wait.  On the contrary, they got out of their cars and started taking pictures with their camera phones.  Whoever thought putting a camera in phones was a good idea?  I hope that they had some low quality phones!  All in all, I met about five firemen and one "expert" on how to remove vans from a river, must be common over here, and one hundred or so spectators for this admission-free event.  I politely introduced myself as the goof who forgot to put his emergency brake on, and now more people in Bardejov know why I am here  :-)

In the middle of this whole ordeal I was laughing at myself and how foolish I felt when God gave me a teachable moment with my kids.  Jayce said to me, "Dad you got more upset last time when we were all in the car getting ready to go to church and the van did not start.  And Dad this seems like a much bigger thing then that was."  And Tate said, "Yeah Dad, why is this funny to you?"  I said, "Guys remember how I am always telling you that God gives you a choice as to how to respond in every situation in life?"  Kids, "Yes Dad."  "Well last time Daddy sinned in my response because I got angry and chose sin over righteousness and then I had to come back and ask you all for forgiveness.  But this time when God said, 'How are you going to respond in a way that honors me?', Daddy chose God's way instead of satan's."

Life will throw us all types of difficult or different situations.  Sometimes it is family or friend relationships, or your child gets cancer (Doug and family I love you), or finances or whatever it may be, but God always gives you a choice in your responses.  What will yours be next time?


The Hartman6 said...

Nice job on posting this, Ed!!! I am forwarding the link to Matt so he can see pics of this GREAT story I told him last night.

mjuchems said...

I would have blamed it on the kids. Just sayin...

annipanna said...

I love this story:)
Thank you for sharing!

Thinking of you all.

Liz and Dan Estes said...

I would have blamed it on Dan! Thanks for sharing what God taught you.

Jon Feucht said...

It runs in the family mate. I've been stuck in several different rivers with Alan and Mike...but never in a van.

Cheers, Jon

pwimberly said...

Wow! That tops when Turner forgot to put his van in our mailbox. He helplessly watched as his van crossed our busy highway and into our neighbors yard taking down their chain link fence!

I love how God works!! Sure keeps us on our toes - love & hugs to all! Priscilla & Turner