Hamburgers and Hazard Lights

There’re many ways to spend a Sunday: some go to church and fellowship after; some watch football; some go to AA meetings; and some play video games all day long, but Nathan and I found something better to do: drive four hours to eat a hamburger.

Since we’ve moved to Texas, we’ve encountered a lot of things, in comparison to San Diego, that’d bring a person down, and one of those things was not being able to eat at “In-N-Out” because they don’t have one here, or so we thought!

Last week, Nathan found an “In-N-Out” in San Antonio. As a parent, I tend to want to fulfill my kids desires, much like God does, so when I heard of one in San Antonio, I immediately thought of driving there.

Lately, I’ve BEEN wanting to spend some alone time with each of the kids, to give them special attention and find out where they’re “at.” With Carolyn, I took her to get her permit and let her drive us around, all the while, talking about our future. With Nathan, I decided to take him for a burger.

After we were in the car for about an hour or so, he said, “Maybe this was a bad idea.” Quickly, I agreed, but we’d already made it so far that we continued on.

At first, I thought it’d be a three and a half hour drive, but as I watched the little Google map, I knew I was wrong. The farther we got the farther it seemed to slip away. It took f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

He slept, listened to music, played games, and I drove and talked to God a lot. In between our busy schedules, we had meaningful conversations, and THAT’s what it’s all about.

Now, Nathan’s not much of a picture person, so we didn’t get the classic “selfie” in front of the sign, but we got to smell the aroma of the most amazing burger joint as we ate, which can’t be captured in a picture.

Afterward, we’d wanted to get a couple burgers to-go for him and Carolyn and some fries, but of course, I messed up the order, which we didn’t realize until two hours into our car ride home and, then again later, when we GOT home. It was horrible. I probably cried for (at least) five minutes.

When you drive a total of eight hours to get a special meal and mess up on the orders, it can be devastating. Regardless, along the way, more was revealed.

Sometimes in life, we can end up going in the wrong direction, moving forward with caution, or simply weathering the storm, but whatever it takes to get back on track may be uniquely different for each one of us. For me, I found out where I was at through the storm.

On our way back from San Antonio (which, actually, the “In-N-Out” was in Windcrest), we encountered one of the worst storms I’d ever driven through. You know…one of those ones where you pray you LIVE through it because possible accidents run through your mind…yeah, that kind!

Anyway, as I was driving along, a red pickup truck pulled in front of me, and then, the rain poured down “heavily.” The sky was the darkest grey I’d ever seen, and the road seemed to blend in with it. Thankfully, Nathan was asleep, so whatever I was showing on my face and in the demeanor of my body wasn’t worrying him. Okay, now back to the road!

It was crazily insane. As the rain poured down harder, the truck in front of me slowed, and then, it looked as if he was pressing on his breaks over and over. I thought he’d been signalling for me to slow down, so I did, but then, the car next to him put on his hazards, and the car behind him did the same. It was then, I realized the red truck’s hazards were simply red, so I turned my harzards on.

At that moment, I looked in the rearview mirror, to find the people behind me flashing their hazards, and saw the people across the interstate doing the same, and knew it was a Texas thing (or at least at storm thing), and it made perfect sense.

In the thick of the storm, a constant tail light can disappear but a flashing light remains seen. These lights guided my through the storm and let those behind me know where to follow. Some had to pull over to wait it out, but I kept going, with caution, towards the light in front of me.

People, my harzards are on! The storm is thick, discouraging, and threatening my dreams, but I’ll keep going, at a slow pace, with my hazards on, following the One, Who’s flashing in front of me.

I’d wished I could’ve thanked the man in the red truck and would’ve, if he’d pulled off for gas or something, but instead, he ended up splitting off towards Edinburg, so I never got to thank him. If only he knew the lives he saved…

Anyway, if you can’t handle following me through this storm, pull over and wait it out. I’ll be okay.

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