Although I can’t believe we did it (and I couldn’t imagine trying it now), this week in 1997 our church took 16 youth and 7 adults on a ski trip from Moberly, Missouri to Winter Park, Colorado. We rented a 15-passenger van (back when it was allowed). We borrowed a second van from a church an hour away.
“Come Saturday Morning” at 3:45 am the first stood outside awaiting the last. Our Christian Education Director yelled a suggestion: “Hey Wally, don’t you want to start the vans to let them warm up?” It was minus five degrees, 4 am, and I had a lot to learn. I could not get the borrowed van to start. Several attempts sounded close, but it wouldn’t get going and neither could we. Jumper cables, and 7 adult attempts did not help. At 4:30 we awoke the 24-hour tow-trucker; he arrived at 4:45 with a powerful jumper that failed.
At 5 am we changed tactics thanks to the suggestion of those who had gone inside to let their brains warm up. We took the back seats out of my family’s van for luggage; our CE Director confiscated her van for 7 people; the two replaced the one we left behind. 23 worked as one team to remove seats, transfer luggage, and slide off at 5:30.
13 hours later we were in our double house with 2 kitchens and 4 baths. I pitched my planned devotion and we talked about life — life is not easy and life does not always go smoothly. In fact the true test of how successfully you face life is not how you do when things are easy, but how you face and overcome the challenges and obstacles in your way — like losing your means of transportation as you start a journey.
As I’ve tried to inaugurate a blog on an inauguration day, I’ve learned a lot by overcoming lots of set-backs. This “van” has started, but it desperately needs a tune up already, and a tire could blow out anytime. I thank you for setting off with me. We’ll see where our journey takes us.
When have you started something new in your life? What did you hope for? What did you fear? What obstacles did you overcome? What lessons did you learn?