Who would have guessed that I would end my day in the back of a police car?
There’s a first time for everything, and the other night, one of my best friends and I were picked up by the cops.
(Sound exciting???? It was. And, I’m happy to report that I didn’t miss the adventure! And, I’m even happier to report that I do not have a criminal record.)
On the drive back home from the city, my friend’s car would not heat up and the battery seemed to be having trouble. No sooner than we were out of reach of city lights, the dashboard went dark. Next the headlights faded out, and we coasted blindly along the narrow shoulder till we came to a small road where we found room to pull off.
We were filled with hope when we saw a brightly lit house not too far away. Leaving the refrigerator, aka mini-van, we began our trek; on which, I discovered that the snowy path just off the road was actually a thigh deep ditch. Brrrrr… and on we pressed, my friend in her stylish vest (without a coat) and me with a damp leg and a cute night-on-the-town snow filled shoe.
When an older lady opened the door, my friend and I both heard in our minds, “Oh, you poor dears! Come on inside and warm yourselves while I fix you a cup of tea.” We were startled back to reality when the irritated, though understandably cautious, woman harshly informed us there was “no room in the inn”. (She reminded me of a crusty and cynical Ma Bailey from the old Bailey Boarding House in It’s a Wonderful Life, peeking out to bark, “I don’t take in strangers…”, in the scene with cold and weary George asking, “Ma, don’t you know me?”.)
…It was a much colder and slower walk back up hill to our vehicle.
Calling our husbands again, the reality of our situation began to sink in: We were cold, very cold, and it would be quite some time before our husbands would cross the state line to rescue us.
Then a thought crossed my mind, and with it a rush of adrenaline: this is the closest I’ve ever come to “survival”. With images of Bear Grylls and Man/Woman Wild flashing through my head, I began taking mental stock of what we had on us: our computers, lots of books, a granola bar, an empty cup, … Why oh why do we only clean out our cars before an unexpected adventure? And, why don’t we replace the blankets and winter emergency kits on the same day we clean out the cars?!?! — Basically we had nothing useful…
…well, except for seat cusions that we could rip apart and stuff in our shirts for insulation and gas we could siphon to start a fire… (just kidding, you already know we had our cell phones; so we could call 911 if we were in serious danger).
Later, when flashing lights pulled up behind us and a spot light blinded our rear view, we assumed our not-so-friendly stranger was a good Samaritan after all, or maybe she just called the cops on us cause we looked like two bad-seed characters up to no good; either way, we were saved!!!!
(I could go on and on about how oh-so-very wonderfully-warm, as well as tight and slightly claustrophobic, a plexiglass-in-front/metal-cage-behind compartment of a police car is, or how much taller and stronger my Handsome feels when he pulls me into his arms after coming to the rescue… aaaah, my Hero!…, or how surprisingly satisfying a stale doughnut from a gas-station can be when you missed dinner, or how especially appreciative one can be for a clean bathroom when one has been wishing for the past hour that they were not still carrying around that Grande Latte in their belly,… There’s just so much to be thankful for!)
I know, this story is a “not-so-big-deal” adventure, but the point isn’t my adventure at all… the real issue is, “WHAT’S YOUR ADVENTURE?”
Your life is your adventure!
- What circumstance do you find yourself in right now? What great peril or not-so-thrilling scene are you facing?
- Are you irritated, angry, accusing, complaining, cursing, sulking, and making yourself and everyone else around you more miserable?
- Or are you rising to the meet the challenge, finding the adventure, discovering a new level of creativity and resourcefulness inside you, taking your thoughts captive, not over-reacting, helping others stay calm, and looking for the humor in the situation?
Every day is an adventure. Sometimes the biggest challenge of my day is choosing the right attitude so I can find “the adventure” in the ordinary, but other days, unexpected adventures are thrust upon me. In either cases, the choice is mine: to embrace the moment, live wholeheartedly, making the most of the situation and the resources available to me, or to miss out on the adventure that could have been.
Let’s not merely endure life, wishing life was more exciting or less dangerous.
Let’s not pray for the moment to pass, but rather, to live this moment well, finding the adventure that is right where we are.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, …. and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – Henry David Thoreau
(I live in the country, and trust me, you can live in the woods and still not live deliberately. You can sit on a stump or sleep in a log cabin till you smell like a mountain man and still not have a clue about, as Thoreau called them, “the essential facts of life”. — Sometimes, like Dorothy, I’m convinced I need to get out of the woods to live! It’s true, “there’s no place like home.” But after half-a-life-time with the military, I’ve learned heaven is my home, and my place on this earth is anywhere I happen to be at the moment. So, until we’re home, let’s embrace the adventure right before us. Let’s live now!)
We never get to live the same day twice, and today’s adventure is an opportunity to mature, and if nothing else, to make a memory. And, nothing kills the spirit adventure as quickly as a fearful mindset of “what if” in dread of “the inevitable”, or the boredom of “if only…”, or maybe worst of all, “I wish…”, what Handsome calls “wishing your life away”.
Don’t wait until you’re looking back on an experience to appreciate it?
Embrace the adventure. Today is the adventure!
Don’t just survive; LIVE !!!
In the end, no one “survives” this mortal life. But those that really live, those that know abundant life in Christ, live well today, and after that they live forever.