Wednesday, November 18, 2015

back in the saddle

I was in an accident this morning.   It was more than that tap from the bus I had last week. There were mercies from my Father in a thousand details. Ask me for the full story one day over a cup of tea, and I'll tell you.  I feel sure it will be one of those days that's seared on my heart. Asher and I are fine, though a bit worse off for it.  The other guy was on a motorcycle. He will take some time to mend but he's ok.  Thankfully, he had a helmet on.  Most guys don't.

Let's just say, it was not my best morning.

David had driven out of town for a meeting. I called him from the hospital and he started back.  By the time he arrived though, we were already at home.

I stood outside the hospital and contemplated a few things.  I considered selling the car, right then and there, so I wouldn't have to drive ever again.  I thought about calling a taxi to come and get me.  Or waiting until David could come pick me up.  But the reality is, sooner or later, I need to get back in the car.

This is our life.

And when you live in a densely populated asian city with millions of people, you're going to bump into people on occasion.  Whether I'm behind the wheel or someone else is.  Accidents will happen. If you've ever seen a video of traffic here, I hope you'll hear me as more than a pessimist in that. It's the reality.

I had that old phrase ringing in my ears, the one about getting back on the horse again. I kept thinking about a story from my childhood.

When I was 8 or 9 my parents bought a horse for me. She was white with a sort of grey star on her nose, if memory serves, and we named her Blaze. She was pastured near my grandparents house and I would ride on the weekends.

The truth is, though, I've always been a little afraid of horses.  I still am, if I'm honest.  They are powerful, strong creatures.  I respect their strength and have never had a very intense desire to experiment with it.

One afternoon, I was riding Blaze around in the yard with my cousin.  She stepped in a hole and as she jumped back, it knocked us off balance.  My cousin and I tumbled off. In case you haven't picked up on this, I have a flare for the dramatic.  I recall a lot of tears.  I was sure my head was broken.

My dad is a farmer.  And a good horseman.  My favorite picture of him from his 20s is beside his famous horse, Red, who is buried deep in my grandparents' pasture.  They used to barrel race.

You can probably guess what happened next.

If you fall off a horse, you need to get back on. Up I went, right back on to ride again.  I am sure I was weeping, loudly.  I remember arguing with him intensely. But my dad stood his ground. Life takes perseverance and fear will always cripple you.  It's better to learn to push past it sooner rather than later.  I rode around grumbling for a while, probably holding my head for good effect. But the point was, I rode.

So today, I started up the car, and pulled back onto the road to drive home.

I drove off thinking of Blaze and my father.

And I have to admit, as a young mother, I took heart a bit. It's been twenty five years since I rode Blaze. My dad has long since forgotten that tumble.  But a small moment from my childhood gave me courage. Character is shaped in small moments.  Sometimes it takes the bigger moments to remind you of the form.  My Father was shaping my character today in a way I wouldn't have chosen.  And He is at work in the lives of my children, using me to shape theirs.

For now, I'm here. Back in the saddle again.


Sara Roberts said...

Laura - as usual incredibly thoughtful and so very true. Great to hear no one was seriously injured and that you are 'back in the saddle'. love and hugs, Sara x

Kelly Brasher said...

So glad you, Asher and the motorcyclist are ok, sweet girl. God was faithful to protect you all, it seems. Isn't it funny how lessons from the farm always seem to come back to us at just the perfect moment... What we think is really just an unimportant happenstance of our life is really very purposed and planned by our Daddy! He is so good to gently work out His plan in our lives in such sweet subtle ways. I dearly love that about Him! How is it Steven C, says it? Saddle up your horses... I can just see you in that cute hat! (Sorry! I just couldn't help myself!) Love you!

Amber said...

Oh, Laura! I'm so sorry you had a wreck and so proud of you for driving yourselves home. I still can't read anything you write without being touched by your wisdom. Taking it to heart as I endeavor with the sweet little ones entrusted to my care. Thinking of you, today.

Amber (Petal)

Jessica Followell said...

I am a baby! Crying because 1.Those were some VERY timely words to speak to my heart today. And 2. the picture of you staring staring staring at that car. I can almost FEEL your heart as you stare at that car. Cause although it seems to be just a silly choice, it is THE choice we have. To BUILD character. GOSH how I just want to HAVE character and not have to build it. But I cannot have my cake and eat it too in this sense. I speak of you so so so often it is quite embarrassing/stalker like probably. ha! Without knowing it SO many- ok almost all the conversations we have ever had have been moments seared on my heart and character building moments I live by. Love you so dearly. And good thing I wasn't with you- we would have WALKED home :)

jeanne said...

SO grateful you and Asher are alright. I can't even imagine the traffic you drive in on a daily basis.....I have seen videos of it - crazy stuff. I thought I was brave driving in Memphis! Love you and pray for you consistently!