Even something small can stop you from moving forward

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 24, 2010

The stretch of Interstate between Kenner and LaPlace is a road I’ve often traveled. I usually enjoy that drive over the lake, but a few weeks ago, something happened which caused me to spend a lot more time there than I anticipated.

My Mom and I were engrossed in

a conversation, while my daughters, Lauren and Victoria, shared

the backseat with their friend, Renee. The mission of our trip has been lost in the part of my mind that prioritizes information and apparently spit out that fact. In its place lie the details of the trip home.

The girls heard an odd sound, followed by another strange knock, coming from the rear of the car. I pulled to the side of the road and hoped that I wouldn’t see the flat tire we feared was the cause of the noise. A quick glance at the rear tire on the driver’s side confirmed our diagnosis.

As soon as I found my cell phone, I called my husband. “Michael, I have a flat.”

“Is it bad?” he asked.

Thinking he was referring to the time I was with my sister when she had a blow out, I answered, “Oh, no. This time it’s only flat on the bottom.” My Mom groaned as I instantly regretted that response.

As we waited for Michael and AAA to arrive, my Mom was amazingly calm while I tried not to worry about the cars, trucks, and 18 wheelers that whizzed by.

Because she is always a witness to events such as these, Lauren was convinced that a hidden camera was recording her life. Renee wondered if we had a fishing pole so they could fish over the side of the bridge, and Victoria gained instant popularity when she brought out a bag of chocolate. The trio then used their phones to update their statuses on Facebook.

When Michael arrived, he said he’d wait for AAA. We quickly left the car with the flat tire. Except for Lauren. She looked over the side of the bridge, and very reluctantly joined us in the other vehicle. “Lauren,” I asked, “Why were you afraid?”

“It’s a whole different world out there,” she said.

When my thoughts return to the time we spent on the bridge, I think of the small piece of metal that punctured the tire and immobilized us for an hour. And in this journey through life, I want to pay attention to the things I don’t always notice, like the wrong attitudes, misplaced priorities and sharp words, which can suck the air right out of me and impede my progress. I’m so grateful for a God Who urges me to “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” Psalm 50:2 He has never failed to put me back on track.

Ronny may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.