Tonight I left our church on Hoosick Street in Troy and began the drive home-my 5 minute drive. My house is three miles away. We have walked the distance before. Yet tonight it took me two hours to get home. Why, you ask? Stupid road blocks!!
In a town about half an hour from here a propane truck tipped over and is burning. They are worried about explosions and so they have blocked off the road since noon today. I forgot about it coming home from the church and when I got to the road block I was tempted to try to sneak around it since I could see my house. But I decided there was no way possible with all the policemen there and blocks on the road, so I followed the detour signs. I didn't realize that this detour was going to take me on an adventure that lasted two hours until it was too late to turn around because I was almost out of gas! (I always wait til last minute because I hate pumping gas!) To make a long story short, I ended up almost in another state, ran out of gas, prayed and the car miraculously started and continued for another 17 miles while I was turned away from one gas station after another because of these road blocks! I would get within view (sometimes as close as it being right behind the road block) and be turned away because they wouldn't let me past those barriers! That happened a couple times, then I finally found a store I could get to - and they no longer sold gas. as I was driving slowly away trying to think what to do next, I looked to my left and found a place that sold gas and I rolled in! I filled my tank to the last drop - I had been running on fumes and stalling for the last 17 miles! I went into the store to borrow the phone and call my kids, because I left my cell phone with them, and when I came out the battery had died. Really?
A nice man and woman helped me get it going again, but he warned me my battery was loose and needed to be tightened, so not to drive far because it could come loose at any minute. I was still half an hour from home and had no idea how to get there since I could not use the main road. I put in alternate routes in my Lola (my beloved GPS) and she said, "This route has unpaved roads. Do you want to avoid unpaved roads?" I didn't have much choice, so I drove the unpaved road, praying that my battery would not die in these dark, back wooded areas with no cell phone! (At least I knew my gas tank was full!) Finally I approached lights just to see that it was the main road that was blocked. I almost burst into tears and thought of begging the guy blocking it when suddenly he moved and waved me through! YESSSS! But wait - am I going the right direction? (I have NO sense of direction, so since it felt right, I was panicking!) Then I saw that wonderful sign that pointed me to Troy! After two hours, running out of gas, traveling to Hoosick Falls, almost heading into Vermont and Massachusetts, and having a battery die - I was heading home.
I guess this is life. And I can't forget that through it all God watched out for me. I had no cell phone, and a kind stranger let me use her phone. I ran literally 17 miles on completely empty (if you know our car, you know what a miracle this is!) The battery, which could have come loose as I was frantically searching for a gas station on the back roads, or looking for an alternate route, only shifted loose when I was in a well lit, people-filled area. And I made it though laughing.
Road blocks and frustrations will occur in this life. We will probably not understand them at the time - maybe never. But I am learning to take all these occurrences in life and look at them as opportunities to praise Him. This gave me plenty of those. I have been asking God to help me in my faith, and as he lead me on fumes and put people in my path, I felt a peace and calmness that came from him. It was a long night, and I am glad to be home, but I am also glad to be able to laugh and give praise.