Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pollyanna Was Right

How many of you have seen Pollyanna?  The old Disney movie about the little missionary girl whos parents are killed and she goes to live with her Aunt Polly in a town that is totally grumpy and mean. Her aunt runs the town and everyone in it, including the minister with an iron fist.  Pollyanna is a sunny child who comes to town and changes everything. My friend told me it is a spiritual warfare movie. Thank you Teresa Shannon for that lesson at our retreat 20 or so years ago. I have never forgotten it.  Spiritual warfare involves walking in the opposite spirit of whatever is coming at you. She played "The Glad Game", which was finding something to be glad about in every situation. Today we had a great opportunity to play "The Glad Game" as things went south at the very beginning of our day.

We are on the way from Idaho to Sonoma, Calif to attend my brother's memorial service. He passed away in Dec. which is it's own sad story. We hit snow on the way to Tri Cities, WA and had bad weather all the way to Klamath Falls OR. A 10 hour trip turned into 13 hours. Went to bed after a very long day and got up to drive over the pass by Mt Shasta in California. We took off and drove maybe 60 miles, and hit a rather innocuous piece of ice. Didn't think any more about it. A few miles later, the car started overheating. We made it to Weed, where we checked it, decided to get on the hwy and try to get over the pass. The car got hot, so we pulled off at the next exit. It was a blizzard.....wind blowing hard, snow blowing harder, and us in our car sitting with it off so it would cool down. I called AAA and they couldn't find an approved repair shop in the area. So they arranged for a tow truck to tow us the 65 miles to Redding. The tow truck driver didn't have to do it, but said he would. He arrived about 45 minutes later, put the car on the flatbed, and off we went. As we went, he saw tons of cars in the ditch, and was almost sorry he had agreed to take us. As the drive went on, there were trucks lined up for miles, trying to get chains on. Traffic was backed up and a nasty mess, and he had to drive that way to get back home.  We told him how sorry we were that he was going to be in that. I said that there was no approved AAA repair service in the area...and he got miffed. He said that their shop was AAA approved.  We got to Redding and God told us to bless him with a good tip. I gave it to him and told him God told us to give it, and he almost cried. I love it when God allows you to surprise someone with a blessing.

They took our car right in. They didn't have to, but they were so nice. They came back a bit later and said we needed a new radiator. WOW...not expecting that. Evidently that piece of ice we ran over was not so innocent. It tore a 5 inch hole in the bottom of the radiator. They were able to find one and got it in and got us on the road in 3 hours. We got to Vacaville  at 7:45 which was about 7 hours after we intended to get there.  In all that, there is lots to be "Glad" about.

First... we made it to Weed before the car overheated. That was a miracle.It was 20 miles or so with a giant hole in the bottom.  Phone service for the first time in 65 miles. Our car could have broken down on a pretty deserted road with no phone service in a blizzard. WOW...thank you God.
Second.....the AAA dispatcher couldn't find an approved repair shop anywhere near where we were. Why didn't she see the repair shop in Shasta?  If she had, we would have been there, in a blizzard. They probably would have had to send to Redding for a radiator which wouldn't have been able to get through. The snow storm is supposed to last a week or so.  We might still be there waiting for the part.
Third.....the tow truck driver agreed to take us down to Redding...over 60 miles. He didn't have to, and was sorry soon after we started going. If he had refused, what would we have done?

In the midst of all that stuff, so many things to be "Glad" about.  The glass can be half full, or half empty. It is your choice how you see it. I choose to be a person who sees it half full. If you can learn to do that, you will start to see the good coming out of every trial. I choose to walk in the opposite spirit of whatever is going on. I choose to be glad, have joy, and not knuckle under to every trial that come. It makes life become an adventure. It causes you to look around and see what is really going on, and what God could have up His proverbial sleeve for you.   Many years ago, we listened to the song, "The Great Adventure" by Steven Curtis Chapman. It sort of became our theme song as we went from one adventure to another.

Saddle up your got a trail to blaze
Through the wild blue yonder of God's amazing grace
Just follow your leader into the glorious unknown
This is life like no other...oh....
This is the great adventure.

See the glass as half full, and life as an adventure, and you will not miss the blessings that come your way. See it as empty, life as awful, everything as depressing, and you will miss so many great things that are waiting in front of you. Was the past 2 days hard?  Yes!  Was it also good?  Yes again! Would I trade my life for something else?  Not in a million years.  I love my Great Adventure. I hope that you see your life as a Great Adventure too!  The choice is up to you!