Monday, August 22, 2005

That counts

My mother, a school librarian, had a book called The Ten Best Things About Barney, in which a little boy grieving over a dead pet is encouraged to list ten good things to remember the dog by. As these things do, the "Ten Good Things" has become a bit edgier in our family, usually applied to really unpleasant situations -- like the scene in "Young Frankenstein" when one grave robber tells the other it's a rotten, crummy job they have. The other demurs "It could be worse"; "How?"; "It could be rainin' !"

We had an opportunity to count blessings for real last night. We drove the usual Indy-start Sunday traffic up I-95 to church in Rocky Mount, parked, and took our seats. A friend who pulled in right after me tapped me on the shoulder and said I had a tire in the process of going flat. Since the service hadn't started yet, we slipped back out and found, yes, the valve stem had separated from the rim, and before my friend and I could pry off the hub cap, the tire was flat.

After a challenging sermon on diligence, several friends helped us change the tire (a lot of exercise on a 3/4 ton van, on a day which hit 105 earlier) and we drove home as night fell.

Now, what was blessed about that?

1. We didn't lose a front tire at 70 mph, surrounded by traffic.
2. We were able to determine what had failed
3. We found out early enough that we could repair it while it was daylight
4. It happened in the church parking lot rather than alongside a road
5. We were surrounded by friends with tools and willing hands.
6. We had the spare tire (being a full size truck tire, sometimes we don't have it on board)

That's just six, but the list can go on. Potential alternatives could have been a crash at highway speeds; going flat in one of the deserted places between Rocky Mount and Smithfield; having to change it alongside the road and in the dark, without help; and more.

So there are quite a few good things about a flat tire at church.

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