The fog of chaos will attempt to blind you to your possibilities. You have to find your way through the fog and you have to find your way to block the chaos if you are going to live the life of bold purpose.
I left the house in plenty of time to get my son to his event. I had planned it that way. I didn’t want to rush. I didn’t want to fret. I didn’t want to let chaos have the start of my day because I know that it’s then difficult to take back control.
Halfway up the road, a dump truck pulled out in front of me and he was content on doing about 15 miles per hour below the posted speed limit. He wasn’t even paying attention to the traffic he was backing up.
Needless to say, I was late getting my son where he wanted to be through no fault of my own.
On the way home from dropping him off – late – a giant mower pulled out into the road right as I was about to pass. It forced me to stop to avoid hitting the mower or on-coming traffic. He wasn’t all the way out in the road, because he was mowing, and he also wasn’t paying any attention to who else was on the road.
On the way to pick up my son, an 18 wheeler almost lost control, weaving off the side of the road and throwing up a cloud of dust before weaving over into my lane. When he finally passed me, I noticed he was still trying to find something on his phone. He was completely unaware that he had sent my heart beating a few levels higher than it needed.
I picked up my son, and we made a stop at the post office to mail a care package to my older son. The computer shut down and I joked that it was probably me that caused the issue. “It’s that kind of day.”
On the trip home, an oncoming driver decided she couldn’t wait the extra minute it would take for her to get to town. She passed several other vehicles – putting her into a game of chicken with me.
We made it to the driveway and I took a deep breath. “At least I don’t have to get back on the road today.” I reached in my purse to get the house keys only to discover they weren’t there. “Great” I announced to anyone who would listen. My son was the only one there. He and I searched everywhere in the car and in my purse but no keys showed up.
I made the call, and sure enough I had left the keys in the post office box . . . back in town . . . down that very road I was so happy to be done with for the day.
Having to make another round trip would mean I would be late for my meeting and we would have to be late for lunch. Neither made me happy. I did decide to get food on the way into town so we could eat sooner rather than later.
Sitting in the line, waiting patiently for the food, the red warning light declared “low tire.” I pushed a button to see how low “low tire” really was – and it was really low. Instead of 32, it sat at 19. After a few moments in line, it dropped to 18 . . . at which point I began to panic a little. The last thing I wanted was to have a flat tire in the drive-thru line at lunch. I think people have been run out of town for lesser violations.
I couldn’t drive off. The cashier had taken my debit card. I was stuck.
It took what felt like a month, but she handed me the food and I drove up a block to the nearest air pump. I put in the six quarters required to make the pump go. The tire that the red light said was low refused to take any more air.
I left the pump and drove to the nearest tire shop.
I messaged the meeting that I would not just be late but probably wouldn’t even make it at all. I settled in to wait as the attendant patched the tire that was leaking.
He appeared about an hour later and I could tell by the look on his face that my day was not taking a turn for the better. “We couldn’t patch the tire.” He declared. “It had a bolt in it.” He just stared at me. “It was a big bolt.”
He went on to explain that there were no tires in stock. He would have to order the one for my car. I would have to drive home – down that same road that had already tried to take me out several times and landed a bolt in my tire to boot – and I would have to drive down that road on a spare tire that turned out to be a donut.
Side note rant: What genius thought up the donut? It doesn’t even look like a real tire. It looks like something you stole from your child’s toys and stuck on your car for fun (or torture). The donut LOOKS dangerous.
I was back on the road again, remembering to stop at the post office to pick up the missing keys, and I was determined to not get near the road again.
I drove down the highway, ironically at the same speed the dump truck had forced me to drive on my first trip that morning. “There is a large bolt in your tire.” I repeated the news the attendant had brought me. Saying them aloud made me laugh. After all, it was a BOLT . . . in my tire. I said it again. “There is a BOLT in my tire.” The laughter felt good and eased the tension the day had built up.
The laughter also made room for me to find hope in the fog.
Finding Hope in the Fog of Chaos
- Slow down. Going too fast through the fog limits what you can see (and prepare for).
- Find the silver lining (because there is one).
- See the unexpected blessings.
The crazy driving I encountered that day forced me to slow down on each of my trips. Being pushed to slow down left me able to enjoy the journey and to take time to watch where I was going instead of just rushing to get there. Being pushed to slow down made me okay with going slower – which was a huge benefit for driving with a donut (see, it doesn’t SOUND safe either).
Stopping to get food allowed us to eat while we were waiting for the tire to be repaired. It also gave me a chance to sit with my son and enjoy the meal.
The return trip to pick up the lost keys meant we were in town when the tire became an issue.
*I have to give my husband credit here for seeing this bit of hope. He pointed it out in the midst of everything happening. His focus on the hope is proof positive that rainbows and lollipops are contagious.*
Sometimes the hope is not even something that is caught up in the chaos of the moment.
There is always hope to be found if you are willing to look. No matter how crazy things may seem or how chaotic they become, if you are willing to find hope then you find your way through the fog of chaos.
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