I shivered as I got out of my car to get gas. The wind hit me sharply and my hair began its usual rebellion against the bun I had secured moments before. I hugged my light sweater against the red wrap dress I was wearing. My beige high heels did little to keep my feet warm. I would have spent the next several moments considering a more fuel-efficient vehicle when two men caught my attention. They were arguing.
I looked away. Because of situations in my past, hostility- especially with men- terrifies me. I have learned to keep to myself, so I looked at the gas pump silently willing it to hurry. But then I caught something out of the corner of my eye. One man had a gun and his hand had grazed it but reconsidered. Without much thought, I approached the men. I looked at the more masculine one on the left and said, “There is a light on in my dash. You must know more about vehicles than me and I was wondering if you would look at it.” Both men looked at me in surprise and confusion, but the unarmed man consented: “Sure.”
By this time my hair had fallen completely out of the bun and my cheeks were burning red. We got to the car while the other man left. The gentleman looked in my dash and said, “That just means your door is open.” He seemed annoyed, albeit amused. I smiled meekly, thanked the man, and turned to get in my car.
As I was doing so, I put my hair lazily in a defeated ponytail. I felt the man watching me, so I turned around. He was grinning as he said, “You know, I find it very hard to believe that a girl with a Chevy bow tie tattoo on the back of her neck didn’t know what that light meant.” I met his gaze and said defiantly, “I didn’t say I didn’t know. I just asked if you would look at it.” He smiled as he realized what had happened. “Thanks Chevy,” he winked at me knowingly before walking off.
Sometimes we get aggravated with interruptions, criticism, and changes in plans. Even amid chaos, we seldom welcome the unexpected. Maturity happens when we realize that other people see from different angles. They catch things that we miss – things that could hurt us. Other times, it is God who sees things that we don’t. We may be arguing, fighting and jeopardizing our own safety and peace. When God makes a move we don’t understand, we need to trust that it is for our good.
The takeaway here is this. First, I probably should not have become involved in this particular situation. I know this because as I read this draft to a friend, I am being met with the same glare I get when I rock climb without a harness or give rides to strangers. It’s important to use good judgment
Second, be thankful for interruptions. Welcome them. They are unavoidable. So instead of investing energy in resisting them, look at them objectively. The very things that we get so worked up about may be directing us in ways that are more beneficial.
Dress warm, trust God, embrace interruptions, and – for goodness sakes – be selective where you stop for gas.