Often the tales I share of Providence can appear to be merely coincidental incidents that just happened shortly after other events. For instance, last week my Monday and Tuesday were so slam packed that during normal business hours I was unable to order some flowers to send to my bride for our anniversary. This would have been a tragic mistake on my part, but Serendipity takes me everywhere. My middle child had a fever Wednesday morning. This resulted in my wife staying home with her rather than going to work, where I would have sent the flowers. I further avoided the fallout of "missing" a day I look forward to every year by surprising my wife by taking off the rest of the week and driving the 320 miles from where I work to where I live without her knowing it. But the stories are not always so close or short behind one another.
When we first moved to live on the lake, our demands for internet exceed the capacity of the local system so we had to get satellite internet. We were never satisfied with the service, and don't get me started on the quality of the installation, so after a year when DSL was available in the area we ditched that dish (but not the television dish--love DirecTV). That oversized dish was installed on a pole, a metal 2 inch diameter, 6 foot tall steel pipe that we took with us when we moved. Over the course of the next 9 years I contemplated throwing it out time after time. The dish I did throw out about 3 years ago. The pole remained. I knocked the concrete off the bottom and considered using it to secure the Christmas trees I regularly sink beneath the pier for a fish habitat. But never did, the pole stayed in an out-of-the-way spot where only I ever saw it. Only I ever thought about getting rid of it. Only I never did.
The weekend before my anniversary, I needed to change the brakes on the family van. We bought it about eight months before and one rotor was a bit warped and wore out the pads. When I went to take off the tire, the lug nuts were tighter than Silas Marner. I tried three different lug wrenches including a four-way and then an eight foot piece of PVC pipe. Then I remembered the dish pole. It was halfway covered in dirt and still had the dish mount on the top but a few quick bangs of a hammer and that popped off. In a matter of seconds, my makeshift cheater bar broke each of the lugnuts so effectively I had to tighten them back before I jacked the car up.
What kept me from disposing of that pipe for all those years? You can blame laziness, you can blame a desire to hoard things. I know what kept me from throwing it out, and I'm ever thankful that He protects me from me. ~~~~~~~~~~~
And let's not forget the iPod we hid so well before Christmas. Guess what turned up? Hidden in a great spot, when I take it back the refund value is the same cost as the brake pads and rotors.