Ice Patch

     My daughter hit a patch of ice last weekend and it cost me $500. Just a little patch of ice….that was it. Ice….followed by a little 4” curb, and that was all it took to break the right front strut and render the car immobile. Tow truck….auto mechanic…..$500. Aargh!
     That’s the trouble with ice, it takes you out of control. I once was leaving Wal-Mart’s parking lot
at about 3 mph. As I slowly rolled down the parking apron on to the street, the car in front of me braked, so I did, too. Only my car didn’t stop, didn’t even slow. I was on black ice and at 3 mph, I hit the car in front of me. You know how rugged these modern car bumpers are. I think the total damage was nearly $1,000 for the two bumpers!
     Its a horrible feeling when you hit a patch of ice, whether you are walking or driving. It takes you out of control. I hate to feel out of control.
     A friend of mine recently hit a patch of ice. I think he’s still spinning and trying to gain control. He was unjustly attacked at work for doing the right thing, and then he lost his job over it. This was his dream job, nonetheless.
     Ever have anything like that happen to you? Ever hit a patch of ice in life? Death in the family, best friend moving away, sudden job loss, spouse says she’s leaving, really bad news at the doctor’s office, etc. It can send you spinning, can’t it? You might be feeling like that right now.
     Reading the Psalms, it’s obvious that David felt that way at times. He gives us some pretty good insight as to how to handle spin-outs. Interestingly, handling a patch of ice on the road isn’t that different from handling one in life.
     For starters, hang on. When you first begin to lose control, there isn’t much you can do anyway. You can scream, but that just scares everyone else. You can panic and start whipping the wheel around, but that makes things worse. It’s best just to hang on.
     Secondly, turn into the slide. That goes against nature in that we naturally feel like turning away from it and getting out of there! But just like a slippery spot on the road, out-of-control situations in life are best handled by facing them. If its medical, get all the information you can. If its a relationship, learn what went wrong. If its job related, connect with the people you work for or with. In other words, don’t run. Don’t counter attack. Don’t do what you “feel” like doing. Face the problem.
     Thirdly, when the slide is over (and it will come to an end), assess the damage, fix what needs to be fixed, and move on. There’s no sense spending the rest of your week cursing the ice. You’ve got the rest of your life to live and as bad as this out-of-control experience may be, it doesn’t have to destroy your life. The ultimate outcome of our lives is 10% circumstances and 90% our reaction to those circumstances. More often than not, you will find that the scariest disturbances can turn out to be the most beneficial life incidents when you respond in a way that honors God.
     But I’m still not happy about the $500 car repair.

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