Flat on the Fourth

We decided to take the boat to Charleston for the 4th of July. Five miles down Panola Road, we heard “BOOM!,” followed by an awful scrapping noise. The boat trailer had blown a tire. Not a problem, we have a spare, and I had my son Abram with me to do the work.
We started to search for the jack on the truck. Having bought the truck used, I had never looked for the jack before, but I assumed it was there somewhere. We looked in all the usual jack hiding spaces. No jack. No lug wrench. With two bars of cell service, we looked up a YouTube video about where jacks where located on Ford F-150’s (download speed – 5 minutes). We looked in all the suggested places; still no jack.
We unhooked and headed for Summerton, where I knew there was a NAPA store (run by Todd Fleming’s father-in –law). Gina Googled the store hours to see if it was open. Google said it was. Google lied. Next stop: Walmart in Manning, eight more miles up the road. They did indeed have a jack for sale and a lug wrench. I could have bought the cheap jack, but I decided if I was going to buy one, it might as well be a good one (I always wanted a rolling 2 ton hydraulic jack).
New jack and lug wrench in hand, we started back to Panola Road. By this time, the South Carolina temperature and humidity had come to an agreement to create a condition known as “step out of the truck and be drenched with sweat.”
We loosened the lug nuts – and it was handy having Abram there to do the straining. Gina even took a few turns. I was just getting it jacked up when a Clarendon County Deputy Sheriff pulled up. He got out, adjusted his gun belt and walked toward us.
“Having any trouble folks?,” he asked. For a brief moment, I wanted to give him a Bill Engvall answer, “Nope, it was such a nice day we decided to stop here and rotate the tires. Here’s your sign!” I decided, however, that I did not want to visit the Clarendon County Jail, so I assured him all was well.
The tire got changed, and we were on our way, an hour and half later than we planned. The delay was the kind of moment when you could grouse about bad luck, grumble about missing out on fun, or grip about boats and trailers.
But not this day. We knew about the accident that happened the night before on the lake. We knew the young woman who lost her life in a tragic accident. We knew a family was grieving. Having a flat on the 4th was a minor problem.
To live with perspective is to see your life with a wider lens. This doesn’t mean give thanks tragedy hasn’t happened to you. It means you keep your problems right sized. On the 4th of July, I had a truck that ran, a cell phone that worked, a store that was open, and money in the bank to buy what I needed. I even had a courteous Clarendon County Deputy check on me.
When you face the moments that inconvenience you, it’s good time to ask Jesus to show you the true size of the problem. It’s probably smaller than you think.


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