A Couple of Lessons from a Flat Tire

Sunday afternoon, my wife packed up the minivan (I still can't believe I am part of the minivan crowd ... but it's part of the package of grandparenting!). She was heading to see her mom (who resides in the skilled care unit at the Mennonite Home). Along with a box of chocolates, she had a basket that contained a variety of miscellaneous items and a bouquet of flowers picked from our garden. She was gone no more than five minutes when my phone rang. Caller ID told me it was her. "Hmm", I thought to myself, "I wonder what she forgot." Well if she forgot anything it might have been to avoid the nail on the road. Her passenger front tire, she informed me, was about as flat as a tire could be. Grumbling and muttering, I grabbed my keys to go help. Once on site, I decided to call AAA for road service. I figured they could not be too busy given the holiday weekend. After giving my location and problem along with my membership number to the AAA dispatcher, she told me I would receive a phone call shortly from whomever was assigned to assist me.

Knowing how long I have waited in the past for help to arrive, I decided that maybe I could get the spare on quicker. So I grabbed the owner's manual from the glove box to find out just where the little donut spare was kept. After locating it and removing it, I then sought out the jack and lug wrench. Upon finding them, I began the steps to remove them. The lug wrench came out easily, but try as I might I could not remove the jack. At that point, I resigned myself to wait. The wait proved short. After arriving promptly (I was impressed!), the AAA mechanic took less than five minutes to remove the flat and put on the spare. Before I knew it, I was on my way back home (and Sharon drove our other vehicle to visit her mom).

Here are two lessons I learned (or perhaps better said, "was reminded of!"):

1. My heart still is marked by ingratitude. My first reaction to Sharon's call for help was to grumble and complain (see Philippians 2:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:18). Really? Yep! Instead of being thankful that the problem was only a flat tire, that I live in a prosperous nation in which I can easily afford not just one vehicle but two, that I have a membership in AAA that enables me to resolve the problem with a phone call and a little bit of time (and I could go on and on and on counting my blessings) ... instead of thanking God I was griping. Wow! A reminder of just how far I have to do in this area.

2. Help is only a simple phone call away (in this case, when you are a member of AAA). This, of course, is an excellent illustration of prayer. When we call out to God in prayer, we have promises in the Word of God that not only will he hear us, he WILL respond (1 John 5:14-15; Matthew 7:7; Philippians 4:6). And friends, when we issue that "call" to our Father in Heaven, he has FAR MORE RESOURCES, WISDOM, and COMPASSION than AAA ever will!

Thanks for stopping by ... and may you have a "flat tire free day!"
pj

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