God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
– Psalm 46:1-3
Just got back from my business trip to Alabama. I thought I would give a trip report, of sorts, and then get back into the groove tomorrow.
Nothing like what David talked about above, but I had not given an industrial seminar in a year and a half. This was a simple seminar, but two days long. I feared not being able to stand for two days – did great there. I feared running out of things to talk about – finished the course about an hour after the minimum time, so great there. I really felt God’s presence as I remembered things that I had not included in the seminar for over ten years. I feared exhaustion – okay, I fell off the truck when off-loading my personal stuff this afternoon. So, I was totally spent, but God gave me just what I needed and a reminder to go no further. In the fall, I scraped a knee on the asphalt, but otherwise did a descent airborne roll upon landing. The old instincts kicked in, even though I never went to Airborne school.
What did I do?
I had a turn-key job to deliver training to a steel mill in the Birmingham, AL area. There were actually four people from an Arkansas mill there. Their furnace was slightly different, and, being blind-sided, I had no presentation material planned for them. So, I had to do a little song-and-dance when something wasn’t the same as what I presented. The kicker was that my old employer has demonstration equipment. I rented a truck, had people load it, and then drove it to Alabama and back. I am feeling the seven straight days of work and the 1500+ miles in a rental truck.
Was God’s hand on us?
Twice people cut in front of the truck and stopped. Each time it was as if an angel got us out of trouble. The first was in West Virginia on the way down, we went from Interstate speeds to stopped in a hurry, but rental trucks don’t do that. I did a quick lane change without hitting anyone and stopped after passing four or five cars in the lane that I had been in. There was no telling how many people would have gotten hurt, if the other lane wasn’t empty. The second was getting cut off while going down hill in Birmingham. I just stood on the brakes. The load shifted, but no one was hurt. NOTE: From truckers to everyone else, including truckers. Rental trucks do not have good brakes. The good drivers give a large following distance to compensate. The gap is for their safety, not an invitation to change lanes.
NOTE: If you want to drive a vehicle and not encounter people who only think of themselves, or just aren’t thinking at all, throw your keys away and stay home. This world is broken, but with God’s help, my wife and I made it home.
The barbeque was good. The ribs were the meatiest that I have had in a while. We also had catfish (we being my wife and I). We did my wife’s favorite Texas hamburger joint. And the last night in Birmingham was at a Cajun restaurant with the early season crawfish boil (three pounds) with Seafood Gumbo and Red Beans and Rice on the side. Yum.
Things to add to my personal prayer list
The people we met were nice. All need my prayers for one thing or another. My wife connects with the breakfast staff and the cleaning ladies at the hotel. She has new friends to pray for. The seminar was so successful that more may follow. I need to pray for wisdom and strength. At this point, I am simply exhausted. The next is already scheduled for late June. The seminars that I used to teach had not sold for a while. I am thinking that the economy is improving.
And of course, I need to thank my Heavenly Father for watching over us and protecting us as He did with King David. He is indeed ‘an ever-present help in trouble.’