Our winter’s drive to Florida for a conference was not uneventful, especially when we drove into what turned into a snow storm. This trip also included a family vacation with our 3 adult children and daughter-in-law. In the interest of saving travel costs, only our youngest was flying (from Calgary) to our resort destination; the rest of us were driving. Upon entering the US, we encountered a snowy conditions which I was quite familiar with. I was driving in the left lane when a car from the slower-moving right lane moved in front of me. I hit the brakes because I quickly realized he was travelling very slowly, but it was as if I had not tried to brake at all – the car just slid into him. Thankfully, no one was injured but the vehicle was not in any shape to make the rest of the journey.
Since this happened on the Saturday of a long weekend, all the car rental shops were closed by the time we reached the next community for our overnight stay. On Sunday morning, I managed to book a minivan, eager to continue our journey. After a 45-minute taxi ride (which is another story) to pick up our the vehicle, we were told they had no vehicle for me to rent! Apparently they had called and left a message on my cell alerting me to this fact, but I hadn’t received it. “But I booked this van only two hours ago! We are stranded! You’ve got to do something for me!” I protested.
Here is the reality: they actually did have a van but it just wasn’t cleaned and ready for the customer. They had not intended to rent until Tuesday, when they had more time and staff to prepare it properly.
Here is the good news: once they understood my dilemma, they cleaned the van for us and after a 24-hour delay from the time of the accident, we were on the road again to our destination, thanks to their willingness to accommodate us over their original plan.
As I reflected on this experience, I realized there is a lesson for all of us. There are times on this journey through life when we can choose to “deny ourselves” in order to serve others. Every day we are given opportunities to serve others but in many cases we would rather just do what suits us at the time. Putting the interests of others ahead of our own can be easy to say but difficult to do. Obeying the command to “follow me” may mean giving or doing what is above and beyond what is expected. Are you willing to make that choice with people you encounter today?