Friday, February 4, 2011

Enjoying the Ride

Indiana. Winter 1986. This Texas girl had never really seen snow. Not that kind of snow anyway. I instantly decided that it was beautiful and that I was a fan. My dad was behind the wheel of the our 1984 Suburban that pulled our 32 foot travel trailer that we called home. I am sure that none of the five O'Dell kids were buckled in with seatbelts. It was 1986, and back then apparently people didn't worry about their children being ejected from vehicles in case of a wreck. I am sure that the five of us kids were all hanging out, singing songs, playing a horrible arm-biting game to test our tolerance for pain that we aptly named "Harder, Harder, Stop!" We were strange kids.

We were headed from Grand Rapids, Michigan back to Texas, where icy roads and snow were rare. Our suburban was behind an eighteen wheeler on the interstate, and my dad decided to pass him on the left. When he changed lanes, our vehicle ended up behind another eighteen wheeler. This created a vacuum, of sorts, and our travel trailer began to fishtail from side to side, swinging the back of our Suburban with it. At this point, I was resting in the back of the vehicle, and I could see nothing of the danger outside. I felt the motion of the Suburban, and I let out an exuberant, undulating, "WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!". I loved it. I was having the time of my 8-year-old life. Meanwhile, my father was trying to regain control of our out of control vehicle, working to prevent an accident and probably our death. Two people, experiencing the same thing, reacting very differently. It's funny how a little perspective changes everything. I didn't see any problem, and truthfully, even if I had, I probably would not have known how serious the situation could have been. I was a kid. I was only eight. I was carefree. I knew my Father was in control, and I was just enjoying the ride.

Today I woke up to another day of inclement weather here in the great state of Texas, and I am still impressed with the beauty of snow. I am looking out my bedroom window right now, and I am thinking that it will be fun to go out in it once I am properly fed and clothed. Over the last few weeks, maybe months, I have been struggling a little. I am sure that you have noticed that my blogs went from funny to serious, but I promised to be honest from the beginning. And whether you like it or not, I am keeping that promise. But God has been reminding me, in a thousand little ways, that He has it figured out. He is in control. He has a plan. All of the things people tell us, and they don't seem to mean much until God chooses to generously remind us in very specific, God-like ways.

Yesterday I got out of my house. I traveled to Dallas on the train with my brother, and we had fun. You can't really be with my brother Craig and not have fun unless you have serious problems. We ate beef tips and noodles, and turned our noses up at the tomatillo soup we ordered. We shopped, met up with one of my sweet girlfriends, and we had Starbucks. It was nothing spectacular, but as we sat on the train and headed home, I thought to myself that life is good. I am blessed. I have Jesus and a job and friends and family and adequate money and health. I have a fun life that I am very thankful for, even in the midst of times where I don't see exactly where it's headed. And you know what? I don't have to know the way. I don't have to have the map. I am not going it alone. I am traveling with my Father. He is in control, and I am just enjoying the ride.

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