We make every effort to go visit my mom in St. Louis ever two or three months and mostly it is a schedule that has worked out well. For the last couple of weeks we had been trying to work out our summer visit however scheduling had been somewhat of a problem. Either our schedule was open and mom's full or mom was open and our schedule was full. Finally this week everyone's schedule was open and we were St. Louis bound! Or that's what the plan was anyway.
We started making preparations Wednesday to leave Thursday which may sound extreme but it takes a lot to get us on the road. Jackie services and gives the truck a good safety and soundness check, gathers all the tools and supplies he will need to complete mom's honey do list and this trip picked, shucked and bagged fresh corn from our farm for mom. Then he readies the farm for his absence by making sure all his chores are caught up for a few days. The morning we leave he makes sure the ponies and goats have more than enough hay and water until we return. I am in charge of getting everything and everyone in the house packed and ready to go including our three little Shih Tzu boys.
Thursday morning found us both busy and excited for our trip. By 10:30 we had the truck packed and everyone was ready to hit the road. We had been on the road for about ten minutes when Jackie noticed that the air conditioner had stopped blowing and no cold air was coming out of the vents. He fiddled with it a bit and it resumed doing it's job only to stop again a few moments later. We both looked each other and wondered what was going on. While our truck, which is the only vehicle we have, is a 2003 model, the old girl has never given us a moments trouble. The only thing necessary to keep her up and going was routine maintenance and the replacement of a couple of parts worn out due to normal wear and tear. We were headed towards the town next to us and were a friend of ours owned a repair shop. Jackie said we would run by and see what he thought. It was at this point I asked Jackie if he remembered me mentioning the last few days that I felt uneasy about the air conditioning. He said he had. Then I asked him if he thought we should go back home. His answer, not yet.
Initially we were optimistic when we left the garage. Without tearing the truck apart we were told the problem was most likely a faulty valve which was allowing pressure to escape. It was an easy fix however he did not have the part. The good news was that we would pass two more parts stores relatively close and if we could secure the part it would take Jackie only about 30 seconds to replace. Once again we were on the road heading towards the first parts store. While I waited in the truck with the boys which Jackie went in for the part Brewster, our youngest, got sick all over the back seat. Jackie came out as I was headed to clean up the back seat and said they did not have the part. It was at this point that I asked him if he thought perhaps God was trying to tell us something, like we should got back home. He said he thought we should a little further down the road, over the bridge into Illinois where we would come to the next parts store and see if they had what we needed. Before we left I called mom to let her know what was going on and to perhaps soften the blow a bit should we have to cancel. Once again, we were on the road.
This time when Jackie emerged from the store he had the part required for the repair in hand. It took him longer to clean his hands than it did to swap out the part and in no time we were on the road sure we were good to go. We felt a good strong flow of cold air hitting us in our faces and I picked up my phone to call mom and report that we were heading her way. Then just as I was about to hit the call button the strong cold flow of air stopped and I once again looked at Jackie and this time rather than asking him, I told him I really thought we needed to turn around and head back home. But still not ready to agree God was trying to tell us we were not meant to go this weekend, he said we would go just a little further in case the pressure needed to build back up.
It didn't take much longer for it to become obvious to both of us we needed to turn around and head back home. By the time we found ourselves in agreement we were laughing because the air conditioner had started and stopped so many times we lost track and the check engine light was now on. I told Jackie it seemed as if God were screaming at us we needed to go home. About this time Brewster had once again gotten car sick.
As we were once again heading the direction of home, we talked about how hard God had worked to get us to pay attention to Him. In the old days, before we walked so closely with God, we would have both been disappointed at having to reschedule our visit with mom. But today we look at things much differently and realize just how hard God worked to get our attention and listen to Him. Because we heeded His voice and direction, He was able to keep us safe and protect. What would have happened if we would have leaned into our own determination and will and pushed making the trip? I don't know, I don't have the answer to that. I can tell you one thing. Jackie and I, as well as my mom believe God kept us safe from something yesterday and it was not His will for us to make the trip.
We made it back home safe and sound, but not without Brewster getting sick one last time, just as we turned in the driveway. I'd like to leave you with one last thought to think about. During the entire two and a half hours we were endeavoring to make our way to mom's yesterday and without the air conditioning working half the time in 95 degree heat, we never once got hot. Hmmm, wonder just who took care of that?
Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.