This was the sky as I left.
The forecast called for 70% chance of thunderstorms
with gusts of wind from 25 to 30 mph.
I needed to be at my destination in south Georgia by 3:00 pm last Saturday afternoon.
The drive takes about five to six hours.
I didn’t want to take any chances.
I was already close on time.
I pulled out of the driveway at 7:38 a.m.
As I did some final loading, I came down with a
Trying not to mince time, I considered taking tylenol
without a drink
but the thought of having a pill dissolving in my throat
while I frantically prayed for an exit
to make a quick stop for a beverage
didn’t sound like a good way to start off a trip.
So, while I was still familiar with
the area and the convenience stores,
7:45 and I pulled off at an exit and picked up a V8.
Before getting back into my van,
I circled the rear end to make sure that
those tires that will need replacing soon
and could take a long drive.
The driver’s side, rear tire was good.
Here is the passenger’s side, rear tire.
It’s not a close-up, but that shiny spot at about 1:00 on the tire
is a nail.
I wasn’t even sure what time Butler Automotive opens.
Yes, the number is programmed into my phone.
And I’m pretty sure Thomas knows my voice
before I identify myself.
I called and Thomas answered.
They open at 8:00.
He kindly said, “Sure! Come on in,” in the helpful voice to which I am so thankfully accustomed.
I watched the morning shadows cross the cement floor of the car shop
and wondered about my morning.
Would I need a new tire or could this one be patched/plugged?
When would I finally leave town?
What if I hit more delays once on the road?
Maddie invited me to south Georgia months ago
to photograph her first prom.
I didn’t want to be late.
I wanted to do an excellent job on her photos.
As it turned out,
Thomas and the awesome crew at Butler pulled through.
The nail was small enough that it didn’t fully puncture the tire.
It required no plug … no repair.
Thomas didn’t charge me and I was on my way
shortly after 9:00.
I thought about the chain events.
Had there been no headache,
I wouldn’t have stopped for a drink.
Had there been no stop,
I wouldn’t have seen the nail
perfectly positioned face-up on the tire
rather than on the side or bottom … and out of sight.
Had I driven further,
I would have been out-of-town
and unfamiliar with tires shops along the way.
Had I gone to another tire shop,
someone might have convinced me to buy new tires unnecessarily.
Had my trip not been pushed back by an hour and a half,
maybe I would have been in just the right place
at just the right time
along the road
to have a wreck
or cause an accident.
I don’t know about all the what-ifs,
but I’m always amazed at mornings like this
when things happen that I don’t understand
but I know that there is a God who does.
And so, I praise Him for a headache and a nail.
Thank you, Lord, for an unusual delay
a wonderful trip
and a chance to take some beautiful photographs
of a special set of twins,
children of two of my favorite people in the world.