It was 4 a.m. and I was dressed for the chilly morning. My father had gotten up with me and we were heading down to just east of Chillicothe to the lumber mill to get our load of slab wood. I went out to my ’56 Chevy 3/4 ton pickup that was black and rust color. It was mainly rust color. I got behind the wheel and turned the key. The engine turned over on the first crank like clockwork. I left the truck in the parking lot of the church and went back inside to let it warm up.
My father was getting a cup of hot tea, very strong, to go. The tea was so strong it looked like coffee. I was getting my usual breakfast, Mt. Dew and I had bought a bag of Donettes Chocolate covered the night before. We were ready.
We went out to the truck and I checked the bed to make sure that the tools I had loaded the night before were still there. They were and away we went. It was going to be a 70 mile drive and my father always drove when we went together. We talked and rode in silence, mostly rode in silence, for most of the trip. As we were getting closer to Chillicothe, on Rt. 104, Dad decided to take a side road that he’d been wanting to try and see if it would take us closer to the entrance to the mill. So, away we went. When Dad makes a suggestion it’s more like, “This is the way we’re going.” not, “Do you think we ought to try this?”
We had driven several miles and we turned onto another road. The sun was starting to come up and we knew that the mill was going to be open soon and we wanted to be first in line. That way we could make several trips that day. I had several orders for firewood to cut and deliver that next week and so I needed to haul as much as I could. You see, I was still in school and so I had to do my hauling on the weekend and when there wasn’t school. This was a Saturday and we knew that the mills closed at noon, so we only had enough time for maybe 3 trips if we hurried.
On our third road we started going up this hill and had no problem. Dad downshifted the truck to make it up the hill. When we got to the top and started going down the other side, that is when all the trouble started.
The truck hit a patch of black ice and we started spinning in circles down the hill. Dad was doing his best to stop the spin and regain control of the truck, but we were spinning faster and faster. I said to him, in a panic, “We’re going to jump the turn and land in that trailer on the other side if we don’t get stopped.” He yelled, “I know, no shut up and leave me alone.” Now, I’ve not seen Dad scared too many times, but this was one of them.
This might be how you feel when you start waiting on the Lord. Things might be traveling along just fine. You’re going the route that the Lord would have you go. The sun is coming up in your life. You have your Mt. Dew, your donuts, all is well and all is good. Then, you decide to take a “shortcut” to where you’re going. So, you turn off the road. After all the Lord is taking so long to answer your question. You decide that His route is boring. The church isn’t helping you anymore. Prayer isn’t working anymore. Reading the Word isn’t working anymore. So, instead of the Word you start reading “self-help” books. Maybe instead of church you decide to stay at home with family, after all “family is important too.” Whereas I agree with that, being at church is where you grow, your children grow and your family grows together. Maybe instead of praying you look into some other form of talking to a “higher power.” I don’t know. Either way you decide to take a different route. Things go pretty well, until you hit a hill. You start to climb it and as you come over the crest, there’s a patch of black ice. You don’t even see it coming because it looks just like the road. All of the sudden your life starts to spin out of control. The more you try to get it back into control, the faster the spin gets. People try and help you and remind you that you need to wait on the Lord. Get back to what you know. Slow down and stop spinning. You end up yelling at the help. You continue to take things into your own hands. Until you have no other choice but to pray and turn back to the Lord.
So, there Dad and I were spinning and heading straight for the living room of this trailer. I was bracing myself for the crash. Now, we didn’t have airbags, and we weren’t required to wear seatbelts then. However, we both very quickly put them on. Dad tried one more time to get the truck stopped…just at the start of the curve the truck stopped spinning, straightened out, and we were facing the right way. Dad put the truck in gear and on down the road we went. We got to the mill in time and loaded the truck. Needless to say we didn’t go home that way, nor, did I ever go back that way again.
When you come back to the Lord, when you finally put on your seatbelt of prayer, get back into the Word. It is amazing how the Lord will take where you are, stop your spinning, get you facing the right direction and lead you down to the right place and the final destination. He’ll then lead you back home again. If you gain wisdom from the experience, you learn that you don’t go back down that road again no matter how much time you might have saved. I know that waiting is not easy, it takes time, and that there are trials during that time. However, it’s better than the alternative. Who knows you just might end up in someones living room after spinning down the hill on some black ice, and “ain’t got no time for dat.”