The Right Direction
When two family friends were getting married I decided it was worth the eight hour driving trip to attend. My Mom, Dad and son went with me. We were all high of spirit – the wedding was in Las Vegas and we hadn’t been there since our move several years before.
Stopping for gas was the first mistake. My car, usually very reliable, decided moving away from the gas pump was out of the question. Kicking the tires didn’t prove useful, but it sure helped my smoldering mood. The tow truck driver was very nice, but he wasn’t very useful either; it was his first day on the job and he’d left his tow chain at the shop.
Six hours later we were on the road. Unfortunately, the ordeal of being “stranded” had left Dad very weary and weak. I hoped the trip wouldn’t be too hard on him and cursed my luck at having the car break down.
We’d reserved three rooms at the hotel, mine being in the middle. (This is important strategically). We were all tired and ready for a nice quiet dinner so we didn’t delay in getting to our rooms to clean up and meet in the buffet. Compared to the drive, getting settled in our rooms should have been a piece of cake, right? Wrong.
Mom needed help setting up her portable coffee machine, so I went to her room to demonstrate. I hadn’t planned on staying in my folks’ room long, so I propped the door against the lock, leaving it ajar.
The next thing I knew I was being held at gunpoint by a huge man with a gray towel wrapped around his head. All I could think for a fleeting second in time was “What the heck? Is this some sort of joke?” Mother and Dad stood rooted to the floor until the man demanded all of our money. Suddenly Dad sprang into action.
“What are you doing?” Dad demanded, waving his arms. “Are you crazy? Leave my daughter alone!”
I cautioned Dad to be still, to calm down. Although Dad continued to glare, Mother managed to silence him.
“Okay,” I told the stranger, “but there’s no money in here. It’s all in my room next door.”
Pulling me toward the door with the gun still placed firmly against my back, he told me, “Make it fast!”
I was filled with trepidation as I glanced back toward my parents. I knew I had to get the crook away from my family. “Please Lord, help me,” I quietly whispered. I reached the door and turned right, leading him away from my parents, my son and my own room. Realizing that the thief didn’t know exactly which room was mine; I used his ignorance to my advantage and began pounding on the door to the right, hoping that someone would answer.
“Honey!” I yelled as I pounded. “Honey! Open the door! I’ve forgotten my key!” To the gunman I said, “He’s in the shower and doesn’t hear me.” And then again, “Honey!”
The faint “ting” of the elevator drew my attention. Without a thought that I might get shot in the back I hurtled away from him, springing up the hallway.
“Help! Please help me! He’s got a gun!” I shouted.
As things turned out, once I pulled away from the gunslinger, he simply and silently slipped into the carpet. Further search of the rooms on the floor and the stairwell proved useless. There wasn’t any sign of him.
I was a hero that day. My terrorized parents prattled on and on about my bravery. Even my son, heretofore convinced that I hadn’t a bold bone in my body, looked at me differently.
I was totally fearless before danger. I never considered my own safety, only that of my family. I discovered something about myself that day: I wasn’t a chicken. I had stopped a potentially fatal situation. How’d I do that?
My guidance, quite simply came from Heaven. The Lord placed his hand in mine and guided me to the right. If I’d taken a left, I might not be here today. That one little nudge in the right direction and His whisper “I am with you,” prompted a boldness I didn’t know I possessed.
I still think of that experience and have often given thanks that I was not alone, but had the Lord’s hand in mine as I took a giant bold step in the right direction.
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