I spent most of today in the kitchen preparing snacks for church tomorrow. About 3 o’clock, I headed out the door to deliver them to the church fridge and stop at the grocery store so I could make another batch of 7-layer bars. But my mission was thwarted by a thump-thump-thump sound as I pulled away from the curb.
Yup. Flat tire. Our first on the van since we bought it in March. So, my husband spent the next hour or so changing the flat and familiarizing himself with where to find the spare tire and jack and how to retrieve them.
The kids and I joined him outside for some family bonding time. As he pulled out his wrenches and sockets, I thought perhaps something was wrong. My husband informed me that the jack handle was missing. Isn’t that a necessary part of changing a tire? I asked, knowing the answer. It was, but my husband was trying to figure out a way to do it without. I offered to run next door and ask our neighbors for help or call some other friends who have the same kind of van as ours.
No. My husband didn’t want help.
I stewed a little, wondering why he chose to do it the hard way, to struggle through, figuring things out on his own.
Then I remembered that I do that, too. He offers me help, and I’m determined to do it myself. Then I end up frustrated, overwhelmed and defeated. Focusing on the stick in his eye, I missed the log in my own.
Fortunately for him, he had the right tools to make the tire change successful. By the time he had to leave for work, the spare was firmly in place and the tools back where they belong.
By the way, the jack handle was there all along, just out of his sight in the compartment where the jack is stored.
Sometimes life is like this. We’re stuck, broken down, delayed from our mission. And we work hard to figure out what’s wrong and how we can fix it. Maybe we figure it out for a while. Or maybe we get so exhausted putting that much effort into the fix that we can’t continue the journey right away. Or we end up frustrated, angry or disappointed.
And all the while, the help we need is right under our nose, within reach.