There are bad mornings.  Not awful.  Not the worst.  Just a bad morning.  I took the trash out to find all of our cans full, so I hunted down the elusive third can that we never use.  It was full of water that was now frozen, and I had to break it all up to get my can back.  With that can back in operation I turned my attention to warming up the van to get the kids to school.

I like warming up the van.  I like the kids jumping into a warm vehicle.  I like driving the kids to school.  Sometimes we sing.  Sometimes we talk.   Sometimes we go on adventures trying to get around tractors and trains and police barricades.  

I enter the garage and do what I always do… I push the garage door opener.  As it opens I am already heading to the van keys in hand.  From overhead I hear a horrible screech.  It is the high pitched wailing of metal on metal.  I look up to see the garage door shaking as the little engine pulls against the unwilling frame.  Finally, the motor gives up and the garage goes quiet.

I didn’t notice, but I was crouched in a protective position.  I stand back up and begin to assess the damage.  The large steel door is sitting diagonally in the rectangle track.  I walk to the garage door and against hope press the button again.  The door once again shakes as the engine tries to push it down, but it quits as quickly as it began.  

The door is wedged stuck. I grab it with my hands and try to force it back down.  It doesn’t move.  I try to force it up, and it doesn’t move.  I can hear the kids outside the garage, but I can only see their feet.  The door is halfway up, and there is no way this van is coming out.  Which means there is no way I can get the kids to school.  

When things go wrong, a lack of time can be an additional stress.  I have a stuck door, which means I have a stranded van, which means my kids are gonna be tardy or miss school.  I feel the resolve harden within.  I will complete my quest.  My heart swells with the knowledge that not only will I free the family vehicle, but I will get the kids to school on time.  Not a minute late.  

I won’t bore you with all the tricks I employed trying to open this door.  Eventually, I began to panic.  I stared at the wedged door and tried to see it as a puzzle needing to be solved.  I asked myself how does this thing work.  Then I found the problem.  One of the springs that guide the door up and down had snapped.  That created uneven tension which caused the thing to get stuck.  But still… I should be able to use my muscle to replace the missing spring.  I set myself and pressed up with all my might and that garage door didn’t budge.  What was I missing!?  Then I saw it.  There was some cable that must’ve been flung free at the breaking of the spring that had wrapped around a guide wheel.  This cable wouldn’t allow the wheel to move in either direction.  I fought the wire and pulled it free.  Then I went to the one side, gripped the bottom of the garage door, and with a roar heaved the door upwards.  I felt it begin to move and I followed through with my push, freeing the van from its prison.

That was my morning.  It cost me time, muscle, a little bit of stress, and before it’s all over will cost a bit of cash.  But it’s alright.  In the end, it’s just a broken garage door.  Even though it cramped up my morning, the kids got to see how to handle adversity, they got to see their dad be a superhero, and I got extra big hugs when I dropped them at school.  

This is life.  Little things that don’t go right.  Expenses you don’t expect.  Obstacles that make you late.  I leave you with these words of the Apostle Paul found in 1 Corinthians 10:13.  

“There is no trial that has overtaken you but such as is common to man, and God is faithful who will not allow you to be tried beyond what you are able to endure, but with the trial also will make a way of escape in order that you may be able to endure it.”

The true story of a city boy falling madly in love with a country girl.  Tree Farm Girl is available now!

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