A Season of Constant Unbalance

Traveler’s Tip #326
If you lock your keys in your car outside of a Super Eight in Billings, Montana call Chuck at the Lock and Key. He’s a nice guy. Tell him Buck said hello. He’ll remember.
 
I’m feeling very ragged around the edges today. If I were a flag they’d retire me. I’ve lost track of states and miles over the last couple of weeks. Now the wind is whipping across the Dakotas and I’m in a season of constant unbalance.
 
Nighttime America stretches out in every direction. A black land-ocean broken only occasionally by islands of light—small towns and truck stops—hubs of activity and life. Somewhere near the Iowa/Minnesota border I filled a cup with ice to keep myself awake on the road. In line to get it I talked with a truck-driver with gold teeth and dreads who does the same. I was headed for the west coast. He was on his way to Amarillo with a half-load. A very nice guy looking forward to seeing his family. Later, at a rest stop, a businessman in a rush made sure we all heard his Bluetooth conversation. He almost tripped over a homeless girl sitting against the wall with her dog. He didn’t look down... She didn’t look up.
 
The woman cleaning the bathroom. The family taking pictures with the eighty-foot, concrete dinosaur. The guy at the counter with tobacco stains that stop at the end of his beard and pick up again on his T-shirt. The man in the Cadillac Escalade with a bronze statue of a racehorse bolted to the hood. So many people—so many stories. Hundreds, thousands, millions. And God—the Beautiful Reality—deeply invested in every single one, be they prodigal or pilgrim.   
 
Fortified with huge sodas and Slim Jims and trail mix we hoist our sails and ease out of the gasoline harbor back onto the terrestrial sea. We slip out into the dark and once again become nameless, faceless pairs of headlights. Out there with nothing but the broken white line I find lots of time to think. I pray, I talk, I listen. Sometimes He answers in short order. Little miracles breathed in a quiet voice or popping up on the cell phone screen. Then there are the tough prayers. The thorns in the flesh that grow bigger and more painful with every mile marker.
 
I have one particular thorn I’m wrestling with right now. I have deep conversations with the Lord about it. He smiles and puts His arms around me. He drops blessings around me like apples off a tree. I say thanks—but the thorn’s still there. I can think of lots of ways for Him to fix the thing and believe me I’m never shy about pointing them out. Still, nothing. Once in a while I decide I’ll kick open a door or two and yank the thorn out myself. He closes them again with a gentle hand.
 
“Why?” I say.
“Because My grace is sufficient,” He answers. “My grace. My love. My favor.”
 
And so it goes till everything fades and one truth remains—He’s right. Nothing, real or imagined, is as sufficient as His grace—even a prayer answered the way I’d like it to be.
 
A hundred years will pass. Then a million. A billion years. Billions of billions. The stars that pepper my windshield tonight will fade and die. He’ll say, “Watch this,” and laugh new ones into existence. I’ll be with Him at every turn. This thorn? What is it to me? I’m a child of the King.
 
And so it’s a season of constant unbalance and that’s just fine. In my weakness He is made strong. Just the way it should be. My Friend will drive now and I’ll rest in the dashboard lights.
 
Fair winds all you terrestrial sailors,
 
Buck

2 comments

  • debbie

    debbie TN

    ....needed this...thanks Bob Bennett for the intro. Taking care of a dying Sis and Alzheimer-disease- robbed- parents.... (and working full time) equals that 'constant state of unbalance' Is 30:15 For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”

    ....needed this...thanks Bob Bennett for the intro. Taking care of a dying Sis and Alzheimer-disease- robbed- parents.... (and working full time) equals that 'constant state of unbalance'
    Is 30:15
    For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”

  • Julie

    Julie

    Oh, Buck, Buck, Buck, your words shot an arrow straight to my hurting heart. I too, have a thorn I wrestle with daily, and I too have heard God say his grace is sufficient...Thank you for sharing your very relevant thoughts.

    Oh, Buck, Buck, Buck, your words shot an arrow straight to my hurting heart. I too, have a thorn I wrestle with daily, and I too have heard God say his grace is sufficient...Thank you for sharing your very relevant thoughts.

Add comment