Adventures From the Road – What Do You Do When Your 26” U-Haul Dies?
I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend celebrating our independence and the freedoms we get to experience! In the last several posts I’ve begun to talk about the core values that will shape our work in Austin —starting with the gospel and what it is. I’m going to take a short break from our regularly schedule program to bring you this important announcement: WE HAVE FINALLY ARRIVED IN AUSTIN!! Yes, it’s true!! After several twists and turns over the past few months we closed on our house on Monday, packed up our storage units on Tuesday, and then took off early on Wednesday morning to drive the 20 hours to Austin.
I have to say that our experience the past few months has been interesting to say the least and a definite learning experience. Definitely not how I had it drawn up on the white board. I have to confess coming into this transition that I honestly thought it would be a piece of cake. We had over a year to prepare for our move so we weren’t in a huge hurry and didn’t need to rush any decisions. Yea, not so much. We’ve moved several times before and therefore would consider ourselves experienced movers who know what to expect. Yea, not so much. We had a well thought out timeline and plan of when and how we wanted to arrive in Austin. Yea, not so much. Honestly, there were several times that I thought we were being filmed for some hidden camera show seeing how a family will react in the midst of outrageous circumstances. I half expected Ashton Kutcher to jump out from behind a wall with a camera crew and yell “punk’d.” Seriously, some of the stuff was just beyond the norm. So, in the midst of a lot of unexpected moments I believe God has been teaching us and reminding us of several really big truths:
He is in control – not us. This one was especially intense when my 26’ U-Haul died at 6:30 a.m. on I-70 two hours into our 20 trip to Austin with my daughter Mia in the car. Definitely beyond my comfort level! As the battery power was rapidly draining out I was praying, “God, no. Fix this battery. You have the power, you can do this. Just get me to Austin.” In the midst of that desperate prayer I felt the Lord impress upon me to trust him and it was all going to work out – just not the way I would have wanted and not in the most comfortable and convenient way. Lesson Learned? In life, and in this church plant, we are going to be stretched and have to rely on God in the midst of unexpected circumstances. Thankfully, He is there though.
As much as we think we are wise, experienced, and self-reliant in life we really aren’t. God has been teaching me that everyday has it’s own challenges and I need to press into Him and not rely on my own strength and wisdom. The scripture in Jeremiah 17:7-8 has been a great one to meditate on, “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
In the midst of challenges we are to remember and focus on what God has already spoken. There are many examples in scripture where God spoke something to a person but then circumstances and challenges tried to distract the person. The word and the vision got tested. For us, it is important to continually focus on the fact that God has called us here to Austin to be part of His work in the city and to plant a multicultural church where people can meaningfully encounter Jesus Christ, experience real Biblical community, and then extend God’s purposes through their lives.
We are to enjoy the journey. There is a great quote by Arthur Ashe that says, “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” God has been teaching us to enjoy each day and to not get too far ahead of ourselves. This really is a journey.
As always, thank you for your friendship and for being a big part of this journey with us!
Dave and April