Every since he was a kid, Tony always looked forward to getting away from his home in the city and heading out to his grandparents place. They lived on a farm out in the country. He always enjoyed the open spaces, the easier life, everything about it felt … good. He really enjoyed going for longs walks along the winding roads. He could always count on getting a great story and life lesson from his grandfather on these.
“How ya been Son?”
“Doing okay Grandpa. Trying to do the best I can”
As they were walking they noticed a car up ahead. It was on the side of the road and one of the front tires was flat. The man inside was smartly dressed and looked frazzled and frustrated as he talked on his cell phone.
“I need to get to this meeting and I need that repair truck here NOW! NO EXCUSES! GOT THAT?”
Tony and his grandfather just listened until the man hung up the phone.
“Can we help you sir?”
“No thanks Old Timer. I just called National Repair Service. I pay a lot of money for them to be available to me whenever I need them. They’ll be here shortly.”
“Want us to wait with you? It can get lonely out here by yourself.”
“No thanks. I’m sure they’ll be here soon. I made it very clear how much of a hurry I’m in”
“Suit yourself. Enjoy the day.” Tony and his grandfather kept on walking.
“Grandpa, does it bother you when someone like that calls you ‘Old Timer’?”
“No. Why should it? It’s not exactly a stretch. You can’t let things like that get you down. Besides, looks like that fella is the one who is bothered. Hope he learns the bigger lesson from this blowout.”
Tony looked puzzled. “What do you mean?”
“Most blowouts don’t just happen. Take that tire. It was probably going bad for a while. That guy probably was just too busy with going places to stop and take care of it. If you take care of your things, they’ll take care of you.”
Tony thought about that. “But what if the blowout wasn’t because the tire was going bad but because he hit something?”
“Well, in that case it would be because he wasn’t watching where he was going. Either way, blowouts are often signals to us that we need to stop.”
Tony was intrigued. “To think about what?”
“I don’t know. I’d have to know that fella better to answer that. But obviously God thought he needed to think about something. And it’s real hard to think when you won’t stop. We can be obsessed with moving here and there. It can do a person good to make the time to stop. Otherwise, life has a way of making you stop.”
Tony marveled at the grandfather’s wisdom.
“This blowout was a tire. Life can have blowouts too. Different situations arise suddenly and kind of blow up or out. And you’re left wondering what happened. But the truth is, with most of them, if you had taken better care of your life and the people in it or had paid better attention to where your life was going, most life blowouts can be avoided.”
“I guess that too is God’s way of getting your attention?”
“Not that God causes these things. Our foolishness causes most of the blowouts. But God uses them to talk to us. After all, since we’re stopped, what better time? Remember Tony, there is a difference between being still and being idle. Never fear being still. In those times, listen for God’s voice. You’ll be glad you did.”
“I promise Grandpa.” As they continued to walk, they saw another vehicle on the side of the road, a tow truck. It too was stuck with a flat front tire. On the side it said “National Repair Service.”
Tony’s grandfather grinned. “I guess that fella will be waiting a little longer than he thought huh?”
Tony smiled back. “Yes sir. I hope whatever it is he needs to think about he takes the time to do it.”
“Me too Son, me too”
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