Well, I’m off… or at least I’ve been off for the last 10 hours or so. I am off on a “Cross Country RV Adventure”. I still have the “cross” and have seen a ton of “country”, but there’s something missing. That missing thing from my “Cross Country RV Adventure” is… AN RV! That’s right… no RV. “What happened?” you might ask. Well, let me tell you…
I have been preparing for the last three months for a cross country RV trip. I have bought and read (OK… skimmed) over a dozen books on RVing (Check out some of them from a previous post here). I have worked on my RV, prepared it inside on out, stocked it, packed it, practiced in it and done about everything else a man could do in preparation for the trip. Then, two days before we were going to leave, my wife calls me and said, “The RV Stinks!”
Now, I thought that she had just grown to really dislike the RV and was expressing her internal emotional attachment to the thing my kids like to call “The Big Rolling Terd” (thank you Robin Williams and the movie RV), but it was literally a stench that was emanating from the RV. My first thought… an animal crawled in that thing and died! I went home prepared to locate the critter, dispose of his furry dead body and squirt the area down with Lysol. The only problem is that there was no rodent. I searched and searched. The stench stayed, but there were no stiff, furry creatures causing it. I got down on my hands and knees and that is when I felt it.
My hand dropped onto the floor which had now become a puddle. I moved it over to the carpeted area next to it and discovered that it was soaking wet. There was a 2 inch wading pool resting on the linoleum and a drenched carpet that were working together to funkify my RV.
At this point, you have to know a little bit about me. I’m not mechanical man. I’m not Mr. Fix It. Sure, I can do stuff, but it takes me a while and I only had 48 hours before I was going to have to embark on this cross country trip. I wanted to wiggle my nose and make it all better. (I did try this “I Dream of Jeanie” style, but nothing happened. It made me smile, but that’s about it.) So, I did what any good guy does when he doesn’t know what to do. I put it off and said that I’d make a decision tomorrow – one day before I’m supposed to leave.
I don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe that God would show up in a dream and tell me what to do like he did for Joseph. Or, maybe he would send an angel and we could wrestle around like Jacob did and I’d get the answer to my question and a cool new walk like Jacob (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out the story here. It’s pretty sweet!) But, instead I get no dream and no new swagger… I just wake up with no answers and still clueless about what to do. So, I say a simple prayer. “God, I am going to walk out into that RV and I want you to give me an answer.”
I walked outside, I opened the door, I smelled the stench, I walked to the area that I dried up the day prior and I saw a 1/2 inch of water waiting for me. In that moment the Lord spoke… “Rent a car, Greg. Change your plans, Greg. Take all the books and the training and the expectations that you had, throw them in the toilet, flush them down and follow my lead.”
It wasn’t easy… but I did it. And, so far… so good.
Maybe that’s the lesson for today. Maybe we need to plan and have our ideas and try to do the best that we can with what we have, but be willing to flush them down the toilet when we are asked to. I could have been mad or upset or frustrated, but instead I choose to simply roll with the punches. I don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring, but I trust that it will be good and exciting… and part of His story in my life.
I preach a message about open hands all the time. I say that we are to hold all the aspects of our lives up before God with open hands. We say to Him, “Take what you will. Give me what you want. And, with whatever is in my hands, I will do my best with it.” As I lay here in Las Cruces, New Mexico, that is what I choose to do. I have my family. I have my God. I have a pillow under my head and a calling in my heart. I guess I’m doing OK. Maybe His plans really are the best for our lives!