"Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die." [St. Angela Merici]

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

No Mountain—or Pile of Spaghetti—Too Big for God

By Micky Wolf
My beloved and I had planned for months. The best routes to travel.

How and when to incorporate seeing new sights with spending time visiting dear friends.

It would be the longest road trip we’d ever taken. And apart from a trip overseas years ago, it would be the greatest length of time we’d been away from home. In all, nearly 3,000 miles and two weeks.

We’ve been good traveling companions from the earliest days of our wedded life. I enjoy driving, my beloved delves into the smallest details to determine interesting and efficient highways and byways, and safe, quality accommodations. He is our navigator par excellence.

Journey complete, we returned home a couple of days ago.

Exhausted. Depleted. Appreciating home more than ever.

Yet energized and invigorated, having been blessed in more ways than we could ever have dreamed or imagined.

I’m grateful for those moments when I slow down enough to see, sense, taste, feel, hear, or touch the presence of God in my life. This trip was no exception.

Two incidences (of many) in particular stand out.

First, one leg of the trip involved traveling from Orange City, Florida to Kennesaw, Georgia.

Which means Atlanta is in between.

Heading south the previous week, we chose to go around this large, sprawling city. Dare I say a thrill ride of its own, but thanks to Divine intervention, it was smooth as silk—if that’s possible when one is encased in a four-wheeled rectangle flying along four to six lanes of traffic amid hundreds of similar vehicles at speeds of 70+ miles per hour.

On the return—for reasons we are still not sure of—we decided to travel through the center of the city as our hotel for the night was just outside the northern perimeter.

If the previous ride had been a exciting, this one felt more like rocketing along in an amusement park ride in a manner akin to a real life Indy Car race. How we managed to not be crunched, or crunch anyone else, will remain a miracle known only to God. We made it. 

Breathless, we gasped in slight disbelief at the realization we’d somehow managed to not make a wrong turn, veer off in to a concrete netherworld, or merge into another of several layers of asphalt and steel towering over our heads.

I lost track of the number of lanes and sets of lanes after seven. Not that we had time to look around. (For a visual check out what is known as the infamous SpaghettiJunction.)

The second incident involved a mountain. Actually, most of an entire face of one that came crashing down about six weeks before we left home, nearly obliterating four lanes and the median. So serious was the collapse officials closed a long section. Clearing the highway was one thing. The mountain had to be stabilized, otherwise it would be too dangerous for anyone to navigate.

I’d read about this major rockslide. Why? The route was the critical north/south lifeline for miles in any direction and our link to getting through two states. Detour? Forget that. An old two-lane road had long since been abandoned except for use by the locals. A maze of switch-backs and narrow passages, it was ill-suited to accommodate the multitude of travelers desperate for a way around the mess.

And so I prayed—for all those in the small mountain communities struggling with the chaos and disruption and those of us who needed to drive through.

The southbound lanes were opened within two weeks. The two northbound lanes running alongside the mountain were scheduled for completion…the day after we would be passing through the area, at the end of a long day on the road.

I put the whole thing out of mind and enjoyed our trip. Late in the evening before we would make this part of the trek, I got on the Internet to check the status, at peace with the idea it would be what it would be.

I muffled a squeal as my beloved looked up from plugging the last details into our GPS.

“God did it.”

“Did what?”

“Both lanes are open! And to boot, a day ahead of time!”

He smiled. I snuggled down in the covers.

The men may have done the hard work. And for good measure, they exceeded the requirements of the contract, finishing two days before the deadline.

But we knew, beyond a shadow of doubt.

God really does move mountains. And on occasion, makes order out of a pile of spaghetti.

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