I shortened my working hours a while back and I love having my evenings free; last Friday, then, I was puzzled to find myself restless after all the kids were picked up. I could not settle down and do anything worthwhile. Couldn't even get dinner started.
Over the years I have learned that I feel that way when I am forgetting or I am unaware of something I should be doing. It's a cosmic sort of cattle prod. Sometimes God has to turn up the juice before I get the message, but in this case I was listening, so I took a deep breath and I asked, "What? What am I missing? What should I be doing right now?"
At that moment, my youngest child came up from the bus stop, and I had this thought. "I should take him to the doctor about those warts."
Warts? Really? Who goes to the doctor over warts?
But I have also learned over the years that if I ask God for direction, I had better be ready to follow–no matter where He leads. So I picked up the phone, called the clinic, and sure enough, my super-busy, impossible-to-see-on-the-spur-of-the-moment doctor, had an immediate opening.
So I took off my apron, got in the van, and headed out Morgan and onto Potato Hill Road. Which means I was soon travelling over 45 miles/hour.
My steering wheel immediately started jerking violently left and right; I immediately started to panic. I had exams Saturday morning–exams for graduate school, in another town, offered only a few times a year, for which I would need to leave at 5:00 a.m. I needed my van and the garage was already closed for the weekend!
I slowed down to quiet the wobble; we visited the doctor; he told us what I already knew about warts–but also sent us for some medicine for a minor something else; in the parking lot I ran into an acquaintance. When I explained to her my transportation dilemma, she recommended a shop just down the street that should still be open.
It was. They hoisted my van up on the lift and came back out moments later. "Your right front tire is covered with tar and gravel."
I came home, exquisitely grateful I had discovered the problem before 5 a.m. on my way to exams, and chiseled the road out of my tires before taking the thing for a high-speed spin. No jerking steering wheel.
I made it to my exams with plenty of time the next day. And the essay portion asked me about a topic that would have been extremely difficult for me to crystallize and defend in the short time allotted. If I hadn't felt that same discontent and unsettled feeling the week before, and ended up memorizing a short document as part of a mother/daughter challenge with my oldest child.
Because I had done that, I had the entire essay already in my head. With references. All I had to do was explain it in my own words, and document my sources. Done.
God hears and answers prayers.
He watches out for us when we don't even know we need it.
In case you were wondering.