Monday morning began as most Monday mornings in my life. The only exception was that our oldest daughter was preparing to drive her car to Minnesota to begin her adventure to make a new beginning for herself all on her own. The morning continued normally until my cell phone rang.
“Hey dad, what does it mean when the battery light comes on?”
Three hours down the road, knowing that we were on borrowed time I started suggesting options. Corroded battery posts…battery…alternator….uggh! Always work from the least expensive option to the most.
So, I began conducting searches on the computer for auto parts stores close to her location. I knew of some chains that would offer battery/alternator testing to diagnose the problem and recommend a solution. Perhaps it was a battery. Simple fix and not as expensive as an alternator replacement. Of course, there is the u-turn option of coming home so I can take it to a trusted mechanic and fix it.
Then came the next call: “Hey dad, the light went off. I think I’m going to keep going.”
Whew, disaster averted. I decided not to tell my wife because she would just worry….
Then came the third phone call.
“Hey dad. I stopped at the rest stop to go to the bathroom and get a pop. When I got back to the car it wouldn’t start. It just made this clicking sound.”
“Ok,” I said. “I’ll be there in about three hours.”
So much for my normal Monday. Hurrying home, I finally called Pam to let Anna’s mom know the situation and my proposed solution. She could start worrying, now. I changed clothes, put the tools in the trunk and rushed off to fill the tank and pick up some D-cell batteries for the flashlight.
So much for my average Monday. From this point on we made it up as we moved along, flying by the seat of our pants.
From the earliest days of Pamela’s pregnancies, my dream had always been to have kids who loved to do stuff with their dad. In the early days, it worked pretty good with Legos and some other projects.
And then, one day, it stopped. I don’t think it was anything particular that I did or said. It just happened.
I’ve decided that one of the problems of teaching kids to be independent is that, after a while, they don’t depend on you any more. That has a good side when I approve of the choices they are making; but, it can be a killer when they make choices of which I do not approve.
There also comes a point where they want to do things without me! Imagine that! And so, my dream of doing stuff together began to fade until I finally gave up.
Back to Monday, this was one of those weird times when I was actually excited that Anna needed me. When I arrived I opened the trunk, pulled out the tools and we started on the battery while looking up the local auto parts store in Marshall, Michigan. The adventure had now, officially, begun as we raced to find a solution before the sun set. Maybe we could fix it without needing a tow.
Several hours later, a few busted knuckles and greasy fingernails, we were on our way back home with a new battery, hoping the alternator could function just enough to get us home.
No such luck. Calling for a tow truck in Ann Arbor, Michigan to take us to a local repair shop that rated five stars on the internet, we finally left the car at the shop and found our way home in my car Tuesday morning by 1:30 a.m.
With the change in plans for my day I had a blast with my daughter as we worked together to solve our problem with the car. We laughed, we held tools for each other, we talked about wrenches and sockets and tricks and techniques of the trade and got the job done.
Here is the point. Life is an adventure, made to lead us down paths that we can hardly plan or anticipate. We have choices to make when we respond to circumstances. Given the fact that we often have little control over the forces that push and pull us every day, we have opportunities to decide how we will act and react to each day’s challenges.
Make the most of each day, going with the challenges and facing the problems with a sense of adventure. Only God knows what opportunities or discoveries you may encounter along the way.