Thursday, January 31, 2008

POP Goes the Tire!

Thank God. Thank God for friends. Thank God for friends who don't think twice when you need help. Let me elaborate...

It had been a great day: Thursdays and the 2 year olds storytime is my absolute all time favorite. This is the first group of kids who've only ever had "Miss Erin" as their children's librarian, they stuck with me in my first year working with kids, they actually seem to enjoy coming to the library (dare I say it, they seem to think the library is a cool place!!), and mainly for the pure and simple reason that they are two years old and full of life and excitement and make me smile just by being their crazy two year old selves... I light up when I see them. I admit it, I get as giddy as a two year old. Literally. You wouldn't be able to tell me from my kids except for the height! And yesterday was one of those very special little boys' birthday. I made a big deal about it, giving him a sticker and letting him sit on my lap in my special rocking chair while everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to him. And to top it all off, the kids really got into the stories and the craft. So let's just say it was a fun day :)

Next stop, my weekly dinner with one of the best gifts God has given me: Megan. Our (hopefully) weekly dinner and the conversations inside Panera's walls mean so much. We can talk for hours. This woman is a gift and has gotten me through many challenges the past year. And don't worry, plenty of crazy hijinx and fun times as well! I had time to stop at Barnes & Noble first (always a dangerous/potentially expensive stop for me), and got into my car to head to Panera. Which is when I had my first ever flat tire... in nearly nine years of driving. I guess that's not too bad a record, right? Still slightly inconvenient.

Well for sake of brevity, being two girls with no clue as to how to change a tire and being closer to Megan's, we called her dad. He so graciously came to help with the situation. The situation being lug nuts that wouldn't come off at first, then a tire that wouldn't come off (tense ten minutes of "will it or won't it?"), then the spare was flat! No place was open at that point that could handle a Volkswagen (buy domestic!). So luckily, Rick had brought a tire pump and he inflated the spare. It seemed to hold the air, so we decided to risk trying to get my car home. He followed; Megan drove with me. These two saved me from this particular "first" experience alone. They helped without a second thought. They brushed off my apologies for the inconvenience. They remained calm and unworried which helped me do the same. I am grateful. But at this point, I need to thank the other One who kept me calm, even more than Megan and Rick... God. Because He's been working on me for years.

Here's my confession. In the past, I used to (still do) worry. But in the past, I used to worry a lot more and the situations could ruin my day worrying about them. Well, God has shown me over the years that it doesn't help. Scripture points to that (Matthew 6:25-24), and even more so, God has shown me by experience over the past few years. I still hit those times of worry or stress, don't get me wrong. But as I learn more about Him and as He proves Himself faithful, even when I am not (especially when I am not!)... why worry? Yes, address the situation head on, but do not let it rob you of living moments. Ironically, it's in seeing myself as just a tiny piece of a much bigger picture that has helped me in this fight with worry. We talked about that in Bible study a week ago: humility does not mean that you have a self-esteem issue. It's about seeing yourself in the right context and in comparison to God. 1) My life and worries are important to God, 2) there are countless other worries in the world and 3) He is God. Three very important thoughts. By keeping my focus on Him and not myself and remembering how He has provided and guided in the past, something as inconvenient as a flat tire and all the hassle it'll take to get life back to "normal" melts away. I have a God who provides and friends who love. Why worry?

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