I am living out here in the wilderness with a thin-to-nonexistent margin for error.
As I observe the ways my neighbors and friends live, many are so much better prepared for the inevitable problems than I am: they’re resourced with redundant backup systems, stockpiled with provisions, gifted with practical mechanical and building skills which translate into self-sufficiency.
Tuesday morning my sole vehicle developed an ominous “click” in the engine, and I immediately turned it off, fearing that the sound might quickly develop into a fatal breakdown. And then where would I be without a working vehicle? It’s essential for survival. Without the means to drive into town two or three times a week, I would very quickly run out of food, fuel, ice, etc. My ability to function and be productive would quickly grind to a dead stop.
At times like Tuesday and yesterday, I am reminded again that my ability to exist out here is dependent on the kindness of neighbors and the grace of God. On Tuesday my neighbor Bill was kind enough to drive me into town to visit the bank, buy ice, and purchase a few provisions. I called Gil, our local master mechanic, and he and his son came up to the house yesterday morning to tow the car back to their shop. Late in the afternoon Gil called to say that the sound was caused by a relatively simple problem and that the tow, repair, and an oil change would cost $130.
It could have been so much worse. I dodged the bullet once again. Given most people’s runs of luck, good and bad, the argument can be made that it should have been much worse. This is where the grace of God kicks in. I’m thankful.
After I got off the phone with Gil, I was reminded of a mentor’s saying: “Where God guides, He provides.” Dodging the bullet affirms that I am still on the Guided Path and that my energies are being reserved for the struggle on behalf of kids. There are enough existential threats in that alone.
Not that daily life isn’t still a constant challenge. As I write these words I have killed probably 40 to 50 biting flies that apparently love the taste of my bare legs. When the flies bite, it means rain is coming—four days of it I hear. The damned flies have actually been drawing blood, but it is much too hot to wear long pants. My only relief will come at nightfall when these Satanic tormenters finally go to sleep.
I’m getting tired of slapping myself with this fly swatter like a Medieval penitent. God must really enjoy His little jokes.
Groove of the Day