Cars are rare and expensive here in the Philippines so the majority of people either walk, ride a motorella (a cart on 3 wheels), or drive a motorcycle.
Naturally, when I moved here I chose the motorcycle! Its cheap, easy, and for the most part, safe.
Up until a few days ago that motorcycle has been nothing but good to me. I drive it everywhere- to the market, tutoring, to Cagayan, and into town. My motorcycle and I- we’re attached at the hip…I mean the bum.
But yesterday we had some problems. Fridays are generally the hardest days for me. It’s the end of the week which means my brain is literally about to explode after studying the language all week.
This Friday in particular, we had a lot going on. As we were getting ready to leave tutoring in the afternoon and drive home, it started to rain. We didn’t really have the choice to wait inside until the storm passed by because we needed to get home for a baby shower that was starting soon.
In that moment, I could either choose to look at the rain- then down at my watch- then back at the rain- and get annoyed that I was about to get drenched, OR I could laugh at the adventure, tie a shirt around my head, hop on the bike and head home anyway.
I’m not gonna lie, for a few minutes there I wanted to choose the first option. I could feel myself preparing for a tantrum. But what’s the point, really? Throwing a fit wasn’t going to make the rain stop…
So we packed up our books and headed home. Driving the motorcycle down the mountain, soaking wet and freezing cold- I just has to laugh in amazement…this is really my life!
We got about halfway home and suddenly the tires were slipping out of my control. I gripped the handles tighter and tried to get the bike to chill out but it only got worse. I pulled over to the side and asked Meagan to look and see if anything was stuck in the tires…nothing. So we got back on and tried to keep going. We were soaked and it was cold.
We drove about 100 feet farther but the same thing happened again. I knew we couldn’t make it home safe like this so I pulled over and shut the bike down. As soon as we stopped, men started yelling and waving at us to come into their shop.
Unsure. Nervous. Frustrated. And essentially out of options- we agreed to let them help us.
Only after I started walking their way did I look up and notice we were walking right into an auto repair shop. The bike broke down right in front of a repair shop! And not just ANY repair shop but the same repair shop, we soon learned, that our housemates brought the bike to for service before they sold it to me.
I used my limited Cebuano words and stellar charades skills to ask if they could help us fix the tire. The owner’s wife was so nice- she pulled out chairs for us and even sent her daughter with us to help buy the new inner tube we needed. I sat there in amazement as one of the men from the shop fixed my tire
My motorcycle broke down in the middle of a storm.
I was wet.
I was cold.
We were running late for the baby shower.
I can barely speak the language.
I know nothing about flat tires.
It was almost dark.
But the funny thing is, when I look back on this story I don’t really see those things at all.
The motorcycle broke down BUT it broke down right in front of the very place that can fix it. I was wet BUT all our books and my computer managed to stay dry. We were running way later than planned BUT we still made it to the baby shower on time. I can barely speak the language BUT I managed to effectively communicate the problem to them. I know nothing about flat tires BUT I landed in the front yard of tire experts. It was almost dark BUT we were welcomed and protected by the owner’s sweet family…
While I would never choose to do that day over again, I can’t help but think that is where God does some of His very best work. In those moments where I can’t do it- so He HAS to.
Can you see how He’s working in your life today?
Because I could have easily missed all He did for me that day on the motorcycle. In fact, I almost did. Sometimes its just easier to zoom in on what’s gone wrong than to find what’s going right and thank the God who makes it that way.
I want to find Him- especially when it’s hard. I want to see all the good He’s working in and around me. And I want to praise Him for it.
Will you join me?