One could go on and on forever talking about anything, but I'll just touch on it here.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Perfect Timing

We rolled into Portland at the perfect time. Perfect for stand-still traffic anyway. Christmas traveling is hectic at any time of day, but rush hour in the big city makes it even worse. Our Garmin map told us Grandma's house was fifteen minutes away, but the road signs warned it would take forty-seven minutes just to get to our next turn. Geddy was grumpy; I wanted to stand up and stretch. The rock station on the radio kept turning out disappointments for Luke and he sighed, "What we need right now is a Rush song." Three seconds later his wish came true. As he cranked it up and Geddy Lee started singing, our Geddy started bobbing his head. "Perfect timing!" Luke exclaimed, happier than he had been in miles. Thinking over our long day, he realized that we might have had perfect timing more than once.

Luke's Christmas shopping procrastination had caused us to be sitting in the car that morning, waiting for a store to open, when we should have already been out of Boise. When ten o'clock rolled around and the store still wasn't open, we were feeling out of luck. One last check at the door and Luke came back with a story. The employee had gotten locked out of the building and it would be half an hour before someone got there with a key. We went on to a different store, bought the present, and got on the road. A few hours later, while stopped in traffic on the freeway waiting for an accident up ahead to be cleared, we felt thankful we hadn't been involved. Leaving late might have been the perfect time after all.

Days later in our vacation adventure we probably did come close to being a traffic accident, or at least getting stuck in the snow. As the wind blew the powder in vicious waves across the road I thought we were definitely in the right place at the wrong time. We made it to the country road, ready to go visit Luke's father at his ranch. It didn't take long before we found ourselves backing up to get out of the drifts that quickly engulfed the previously plowed path. We paused, weighing our options. Should we continue? Maybe we would just make it in time before the road disappeared. But maybe we would get stuck, too far from the ranch to walk in that weather and too far from town and without cell service to get help. The deciding factor was when a much larger vehicle had to back down the road as well. With sighs we headed back to town. The drifts and whiteouts continued but we made it safely. It all worked out except we didn't get to visit family. (The good news is we heard today that roads got plowed and he got his groceries!)

The new year bursts to life in a matter of hours, ready to flip the calendar and give us no excuses for the perfect time to do everything better. Regardless of the year change, every moment we get choices. We can choose what we eat, what we buy, what we do with our time. But sometimes no matter what we choose life is just plain out of our control. Talk of God's timing often frustrates me because, what the heck, why can't he operate on my timeline? I don't see his perfect timing when I'm in the storm. I don't always give him credit for his perfect timing when all goes well.

I suppose what I want to say for this coming year is that it's the perfect time to be grateful and to focus on patience and faith. I don't have a magic wand to make things work out or a secret knowledge of what God might do each step of the way, but I have hope that loves shines bright on the horizon.

We had perfect timing to view a gorgeous sunset around Mount Hood.