Lisa and I have gone through a period the last few days when we have just had a lot of “life” hit us squarely in the face. Or would that be faces? Anyway, I won’t go into details but it’s been one of those periods when I have just kept finding myself wondering what was going to go wrong next. It could be much worse, of course. But it has been difficult to deal with all that life has been throwing at us. I’ve tried to put on a happy face but yesterday at church when one of our friends who told me that she can “read people and animals very well” commented that she could clearly see that I was in a bit of distress (and for once it wasn’t the intestinal kind which is sort of nice for a change in and of itself), it hit me that maybe I wasn’t keeping up as well as I thought I was.
Anyway, I was supposed to fly out this morning to go to Tampa for our company’s annual dealer meeting. I think a person could easily make the argument that the president of the company really ought to be present for such an event but I was really struggling with whether I was supposed to go. The icing on the cake had sort of been when we’d learned on Saturday that Lisa’s dad’s house here in town had had some flooding and broken pipes. That has been a story of its own. Perhaps for another post someday. Of course, he’s in Florida for the winter and while I am very pleased to have the opportunity to help, well, it was just one more thing on top of several others. Plus my knee has really been acting up lately and the thought of slogging it through airports wasn’t overly enticing. (If “slogging it through airports” seems like an odd phrase to you, I apologize. It is one of those phrases that I use but don’t really know why.)
I knew that I needed to pick up a co-worker on my way to the airport for our 6 a.m. flight so, even though I was undecided on whether to make the trip, I packed my bags and did all the stuff I needed to do in order to go. I think he was a bit surprised when he got in the car this morning and I told him that I didn’t know for sure if I was going.
Actually, I have gotten ahead of myself. Let’s back up a bit. Last night when I went to bed (okay, I think it was about 1 a.m.) I really prayed that God would help make it clear to me whether or not I was supposed to make the trip. Thoughts of all the stuff going on at home kept looming over me. Thoughts of a snowstorm rumored to be on its way. Thoughts of my parents not getting along with each other. All that stuff. I really, really prayed that God would help to give me the right answer. By that, I was really looking for some sort of “sign” to point me in the right direction.
But all I got was David Rediess. I almost never remember my dreams but last night I remembered one when I woke up and it was about David Rediess. In particular, I was having a conversation with him and for some reason I could see clearly into his mouth whenever he spoke, as though I was giving him a dental exam. That was odd. His teeth were in very good condition for 43 years old.
Now, I really can’t say that I have thought about David Rediess in quite some time. David was probably my best friend in seventh and eighth grade though. When I do think of David, I think of him as being my “Wonder Years Buddy”. Remember the television series, The Wonder Years? With Kevin and Paul and Winnie? Well, David and I were a lot like that. Except we were more like two Pauls than a Kevin and a Paul and we didn’t have a Winnie. But you get the picture. There was a girl we’d have loved to have had as our Winnie though. But that didn’t work out. She was rumored to be dating some high schooler. And then there was another girl who always seemed to like to tell dirty jokes to David and me. That was pretty weird and for the most part we didn’t have a clue what she was talking about. She was more than a tiny bit intimidating for me.
Anyway, David and I hung out together a lot at school. We tried together to figure out and make sense of all this stuff about girls that seemed to be pressing down on us. We had the distinction of probably being just about the last two boys in our grade to “bloom,” so to speak, and that gave us a certain camaraderie of commiseration. That wasn’t a lot of fun actually but life had brought us two awkward guys together during those early teen years and somehow, even though most things were unspoken, we knew that were kind of in the same boat figuring out all that grown-up stuff together … and worrying if we’d weigh 100 pounds by the time we were freshman in high school. That was because David had heard that boys who didn’t weigh at least 100 pounds got pushed down the stairs at the high school.
So here I was last night searching and praying for God’s direction and all I got was David Rediess. On our way to the airport, my co-worker explained to me that, by praying, I had done all that God really asks of me and now it was my place to decide what I was going to do about the trip. Warm and sunny Tampa or cold and wintry Ohio with a possible blizzard on its way? Live up to and fulfill my corporate duties at the dealer meeting or get things done at the office? Walk on the beach or pick ice out of my father-in-law’s house? Which would it be?
Despite wanting some divine sign and receiving a dream about David Rediess instead, I made the decision to stay at home. Let some others practice their skills at the dealer meeting and fill in for me. Ultimately, I knew I’d made the right choice when, this afternoon, the contractor we’d met with about George’s house made it clear that clean-up at the house is our responsibility - not his.
God works that way … if we seek Him, I believe that ultimately we end up with something good. Sometimes maybe there isn’t a clear right or wrong choice. Maybe God really doesn’t care whether I am in Ohio or Florida this week. But, regardless, I sought Him and I will do my best to follow Him. Even if all He did do was send me David Rediess.