Um...yeah, so this isn’t exactly what I had in mind but here I am at home on Monday evening trying to se what’s next. It’s worth recounting an interesting chain of events that got me here, some will just have to go without explanation for the time being.
- On Thursday, I’m thinking it would be good to take that pilgrimage I’ve been thinking about and God has been talking to me about. Alice will be in town all week so it works out that way instead of leaving Rebekah home alone with her crazy husband chasing the Wild Goose. It’s a good idea, but really there are no funds to do that kind of thing – not even to buy gas really. I mean we could do it if I had to, but it seems frivolous and unwise.
- On Friday a friend gets it in his head that he’d like to kick in $150 to he weird idea his friend is having...and I am suddenly reminded about how things worked on the last trip God sent me on (to Fort Mill SC) - namely, if it’s his plan, he picks up the tab. So this is a good start, but not enough to make the trip.
- On Friday, on a hunch, I jump the jeep which has been abandoned in my yard for six months and drive it to AutoZone – turns out all that is wrong is the battery is shot. $150 may not be enough for an extended trip or a rental car, but it’s enough for a new battery. $60 later and the Jeep is running fine.
- Friday night I’m in Seattle as part of a BCNW detachment talking about spiritual warfare. The prayer team hears a specific word: ambush. But the event goes well with nary a hitch and I forgot the ambush part until just now...still don’t know if it fits in here somewhere, but I may as well record all the details.
- On Saturday I FINALLY get some good news form our bank about our house. (yes, we (like a lot of other folks) were in significant monetary distress from the infamous year of 2008). They were able to put us up on a repayment program to get everything back in line but on the stipulation that I cough up $3500 by Thursday. That’s not a trivial amount of money, but nor is it a gigantic amount of money. I’m pretty sure we can wrangle it all together...but there’s the rub – wrangling while on pilgrimage is less than ideal.
- Also on Saturday, Wane and Alice arrive – Alice hands me a birthday card fro Pat who insists that I get it right away, a week before my birthday – it’s $200. With that and the $150 I think that car camping in he Jeep is a doable scenario and I start planning to leave on Sunday.
- I hit the road at about 10:00 Sunday morning and head south – I figure I have an eight hour drive and maybe I’ll make the 6pm service at Bethel.
- The Jeep is running fine and while I’m not 100% sure, I could swear the little battery gauge was at 14 where it belongs, but regardless – just south of Albany the thing suddenly dies...less than a mile from the off ramp to my friend Tom Smith’s place, who’s 6 year old is having a birthday party in 20 minutes, to which my other friend John Bergquist is basically driving right past me on the way to Tom’s. AAA tows the disabled vehicle to Toms place and we stick a battery charger on the thing to se what happens.
- Several interesting things happen at he party, some of which may fall under the ‘trying too hard’ category but one is a ‘vision’ as Carrie (6) is opening her presents – an old-fashioned plow over her head. A little later I tell Tom and ask, ‘Does that mean anything to you.’ And he says, ‘Oh yeah. Carrie desperately wants to be a farmer. In fact she’s saving up for her own farm and has been for years.’ Now while this is interesting...I’m not sure of anything more compelling than a kind of confirmation that I wasn’t sniffing glue...again...already.
- Contrary to the advice of many I decide I’m going to take the adventure God gives me and continue south – broken alternator or not. I get another 50 miles of so to Creswell and the dying car just barely makes it to a diner/motel. It’s dark now so I decide to stay the night here. (corned beef hash and eggs were great)
- The counter guy at the hotel has acute laryngitis. I offer to pray for the guy and he says (whispers) ‘I’ll take anything I can get’ - Monday morning he has his voice back.
- After lots of praying and counsel from friends it seems like I should head home. If I’m meant to get to Redding, it will have to be some other means than this Jeep as I don’t want to drop another $100 on an alternator and then maybe the next thing, the next thing, the next thing...you know the old-car-get-fixed cycle. Anyway, getting home is a trial - basically drive for 30 min, pull over to charge the battery for an hour, rinse, repeat. But God is good and twice, including the last leg to my driveway, the car sputters and dies just as it rolls to the place it needed to be with not another 20 yards left in the thing.
- Remember the $3500 I need by Thursday? Today, at least $2200 showed up unexpectedly, (plus a planned for $7500 gets in the pipe two weeks early)...so it looks as though that part of the equation is settled and with basically no wrangling. (w00t!)
- Totally out of the blue, as I’m headed north from Salem, I get a text from an old friend who's been estranged for over a year. I haven’t had a single word from this guy since like last January and he wants to have lunch...tomorrow.
So...as far as I can tell the Jesus gears are rolling at a full clip. It’s not really the trip I expected, but the thing all pilgrimage rites include is a notion that the journey is the important part, not so much the destination. So at least I seem to be on a journey...even here at home...which is a funny concept now that I think about it. Right now, I don’t know what else to say. I would still like to get to Redding this week but God will need to provide a way, and I have to be back here NLT Saturday for baked Alaska.