The Wrong Path
I was pressed for time, when I have left the courtroom of Abbotsford, some 50 kms from the city where I live. Two days ago, I've served a friends' ex spouse with divorce papers, and I had to drive back that day to fill out an affidavit of service, to swear in court that I have served whom I was supposed to serve. Two hours of drive back and forth, half a tank of gas, for five minutes of paperwork. Long live bureucracy.
I had to be back in the city by 1PM for an important meeting, and now it was twelve noon. Being in the middle of the day, I did not expect any traffic on the highway. I was short on gas, and I was planning to fill up on the cheaper-than-in-the-big-city gas at the gas station I knew was just before the entrance to the highway. I would be pressed for time, but I would be on time, no problem...except...except, on my way from the courthouse in the unfamiliar city, I took the wrong turn, I missed the entry to the highway, and found myself on a narrow road I did not know the name of, never mind where it was taking me, with not enough room to make a U-turn safely. I could not believe it! It was raining, it was ugly out there, and here I was, going with 80 kms per hour on the wrong road, with an empty gastank, pissing rain, and no idea where I was heading to!
I was so mad, I did not know if I wanted to cry, or cuss. I did not know whom or what I was mad at: myself, the confusing signs, the weather, God...but I knew, I was mad. I also felt sorry for myself: truly, it seemed, God was against me, sabotaging me. Why?! Why?! I asked. I am trying to do whatever I can. I am trying to be good. I am trying, I am trying so hard, and yet, here He is, instead of helping me, sabotaging me. What was this?! A sign that I should give up? Why, oh, why he was not leading me where he was supposed to lead me? Why was he not providing clearer signs?
I am thinking a lot of methaphors lately,and I took a minute to reflect on the fact, that my life at the present seemed to be on the wrong path as well. It is not that I was not putting in the effort: I was pressing the pedal to the metal, frantically putting out fires and fixing leaks on the roof. Every time I thought I have solved a problem, five others would spring up. Every time I thought I was on the right path, I found myself speeding down a wrong road, with no directions, no signs, running on an almost empty tank of effort, hope, desires, dreams. WHY?! WHY? WHY?
Was I not listening to God? Yes, I was, He had my full attention. Was I not looking for his instructions, for his signs? Yes, I did, I was looking for signs everywhere, and followed them without questions. I believed his promises, I tried to be patient, I was doing all the right things, and yet, I was on the path that seemed to lead to nowhere near my desired destination. Why, why, why, why, why?!
The first "why" came in a way of a gas station sign. Back in the city, gas prices were anywhere from 95 to 98 cents a litre. (We use the metrics in Canada, remember?) I saw a sign of 90 cents a litre at the gas station just by the entrance of the highway when I was coming to the courtroom, and I was planning to fill up there on my way back: a few cents a litre made a lot of difference on a full tank of gas. Surely, I would use up the savings driving to and back from the city, but at least, it did not cost me extra to drive out all the way out here, to do a good deed.
As I was driving down on this road I did not even know on a first name basis, I saw a gas station, with a miraculous sign of 80 cents per litre for gas! Oh, well...this was the cheapest gas I filled up with in months! Not only would I be reimbursed for the gas I've spent coming out all the way here, but even SAVE a few bucks. Not much, but my Grandma used to say: "watch the pennies, and the dollars will watch themselves". I was in a situation, where even saving of a few dollars counted. I pulled over, and filled up to the rim with the cheap gas.
Leaving the gas station, I was contemplating, if I should turn back to where I came from (this station was the first time in what was about ten minutes of driving offering an opportunity and room to turn around) or keep driving down into an unknown destination on this wrong path....hoping, it will lead back to the highway eventually, or lead back to a city or road I am familiar with. It was a small country road, only two lanes...narrow, winding...who knows when, or if I could make another turn. What was best? Keep going, or backtrack? I do not know exactly why, but I decided to continue on the road, wherever it was going to take me. I was probably being late for my meeting anyway. How late, it did not really matter anymore.
I drove another five minutes, when the road took a turn, and I found myself driving exactly pararell with the highway, in the general direction of my destination. I glanced over to the highway longingly, and wondered, how or when I would be able to get on it again, to be able to go with a 100 or 120 kms per hour, instead of the 80 kms/h speed I was allowed on this Godforsaken wrong road. Then, I saw.
There must have been an accident, or a road construction, or some other roadblock on the highway, that brought the cars to a standhold, turning the highway into a virtual parking lot. I drove miles and miles, exits and exits pararell with the highway, observing the cars moving on the coveted highway with an agonizing speed, just to be stopped again a few meters ahead. Meanwhile, here I was, "speeding" with a steady flow of 80 kms/h on the wrong path!
After about twenty minutes of driving, I saw that the highway was clear again, whatever the obstruction was, it was now behind me. Not a minute sooner, but not a minute later, I came to a crossroad, with a roadsign announcing the next entry to the highway. I took the entrance, and merrily speed down the now clear highway, to arrive at my destination ten minutes early.
Had I not take the "wrong turn", the "wrong path", I would have been still stuck in traffic, and be hopelessly late. As I sat in my car, gathering myself and my thoughts for the meeting, I reflected, that perhaps, as much as it seems I am on the wrong path leading to nowhere in real life, maybe I was not lost at all, and was heading to where I was supposed to head. Maybe I was not sabotaged, but helped along the way. Maybe the reason why I did not yet secure a job offer, even though I had sent out literally dozens of resumes, and went to ten interviews in the last ten days, -other than the ten hours worth of casual position that paid slightly less than the disability cheques I was receiving without even leaving my apartment-, was, that there was something better waiting for me along the way. Maybe I was not lost, maybe God knew exactly where I was, and where I needed to be.
I quieted my mind, and I talked to God. Please, I said. I need a full time job, and I need it now. I know, I know, I am not supposed to be greedy, I am not supposed to be impatient, but God, please do understand: I am at the end of the rope, and I can't go on without a job anymore. Also, while you are at it: I need a boyfriend. I need a man, who is "into me", God. I need a man, who will love me, and whom I can love. It has been some time since my last relationship: I have done the work, the healing,the hole nine yard, God, I am ready, give me a full time job, and a full time boyfriend. Please. I am not sure, nor do I care how. If it is not possible, would you at least give me peace, take away my needs and desires, let me be content where I am? I trust you. Let your will, not mine be done, I'll follow the road wherever you are leading me, but please...can you send me clearer road signs? Can you please help me to get where I need to be, and get THERE NOW?! Or, can you please let me let go my desired destination, and just enjoy the view on this seemingly aimless road?! Can you please either give me what I think I need, or help me to "fughetaboutit?!" Please, God.
Finishing my prayer, I sighed, and fished my cell phone out of my purse, to turn the ringer off, before I would enter the building for my meeting. I was startled, as it started to ring just then. I answered it. It was a woman by the name of Jackie. She told me, my resume was forwarded to her by another department in the same agency she was working for. I did not get the part time job I was applying for, but the lady who interwieved me thought, I might be a good match for this full time position that just opened. Would I be interested in coming in for an interview two days later? At two o' clock? Yes? Great. See you there.
Hm...I thought. Interesting co-incidence. Or, maybe not a co-incidence.
Later that night, after finishing babysitting for my grandson at 11PM, on a hunch, I decided to go out dancing to this salsa social club I go to sometimes, even though I was not dressed for dance, and it was late; the place would close in less than two hours. I met a guy, named Lazaro. We went to Tim Hortons after the dance. After talking for five hours, we both returned home only to change, and reconvene again for church services later that day. Less than 12 hours after my prayer in the car, I found myself with a boyfriend...you can read the story of him, and why I think he is a "keeper" in my other posting, under creative writing, titled: The Move.
The story is not over. I went for the interview today. Two hours later, Jackie called me. I got the job, and am starting on this upcoming Monday.
Hm...what a strange co-incidence. Maybe I was not on the wrong path at all all this time. Maybe, through the fog, and the darkness, I did not see the signs...I did not see the obstacles on the "highway of life" that would have held me back, have I not taken the "Wrong Path". Maybe I should have just trusted, that God knew where I was all along, he knew where I was heading, he knew when I needed to fill up my tank, and he knew exactly where to find the best available fill up station, at the best available price in town...maybe he was nudging me in the right direction.
Or else, it could be all a coincidence. Then again, there are no coincidences in life. Whatever is the truth, time will tell. I know one thing though, and will have to try to remember whenever I have doubt: I am not lost, as long as God knows exactly where I am at all times. And...I really think he knows. After all, I can be on the right path, the wrong path, I could be miles from where I think I should be, but I am never farther than a thought and a prayer from Him.
Still. I think, he should work on those roadsigns! Or...are they clear, I just can't read them? Heaven only knows. Now, let's see where is the next pit stop...have you heard of any cheap gas anywhere worth driving to?