Making a Deposit in a Snowbank

car-in-snowbankDriving home from Chicago in early December, I was forced to stay overnight at a Wisconsin motel after a snowstorm hit. The next morning, I hit the road again. But when I tried to pull off the highway to get to a gas station, my car skidded and I plowed right into the snowbank separating the highway and the exit lane.

Relieved that nothing dangerous had been lurking under the snowbank, I dropped my cell phone in my jacket pocket, got out of the car, and thumbed a ride up to the top of the exit and over to the gas station. Nobody at the station was very interested in my plight, although I did manage to procure a list of towing companies from the phone book.

However, when I reached in my jacket pocket, I found it empty. No cell phone. I checked every pocket I had, twice. I was already feeling a little dazed and out of my element, and the mystery of the vanishing cell phone only added to the surreal sense of the dilemma that continued to unfold.

Something told me I should get back to my car and think about what I should do next. As I started walking, I thought of a man named Roger Delano, At fifty-one, Delano contracted a rare condition called transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spine. A doctor told him he would never walk again, yet nine days later, he walked out of the hospital under his own power.

In an article for Self-Realization magazine, Delano wrote, “I knew that everything that was happening to me was up to God, that He was the only healer. I felt safe, knowing I was surrounded by the overarching mantle of His perfect care. Whatever God brought to me, I wanted. Even if I retained all of the mobility of a flower pot, it didn’t matter. ‘I’ was still the same, the vehicle of expression had changed, that’s all. A flower pot can still hold a beautiful flower.”

Granted, paralysis is a tad more problematic than a car in a snowbank. What triggered my thought of him was his astonishing ability to recognize the value of what was happening as it was happening. That’s a valuable lesson that I try to remember in the midst of chaos and change.

This was one of those times. So over and over, I said out loud, “Whatever God brings to me, I want.” After all, there was some reason why all this was happening and I was intent on keeping my awareness high so as not to miss any clues.

As I turned the corner to walk down the steep exit ramp, I was startled to see a police car and a tow truck already on the scene. I waved to them, and when I got down to my car, I explained what had occurred. Before hooking up my car, the tow truck driver asked me if I had lost a phone. He had found it in the snow outside the front passenger door.

It’s a good thing I had dropped it. Otherwise, I’d be up at the gas station calling towing companies, oblivious to the fact that my car was being towed away. That would have been a treat, walking back and finding an empty snowbank; then I really would have been in for a fun day.

After towing my car up to the gas station parking lot, the driver filled out his paperwork, had me sign off on everything, and I was on my way as if nothing had happened. After arriving home, I was pleased to discover that the towing rider I had added to my auto insurance policy just weeks before at the suggestion of a friend would reimburse me in full for the towing costs.

By staying calm and positive, surrendering to the moment, and letting God take care of the “how,” I ended up with a nice little story to tell instead of a miserable experience that would have ruined my week. To this day, it serves as a reminder to welcome everything that comes into my life with open arms, a trusting heart . . . and a zippered jacket pocket.

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4 Responses to “Making a Deposit in a Snowbank”

  1. Kim Wencl Says:

    That’s a great story Phil, and a good lesson to all of us. No matter what befalls us, it is ALWAYS an opportunity for learning. How we choose to react to the situation has a direct effect on the outcome and what is learned (or NOT learned).

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Yep. And I’d choose learning over not learning any day!

  3. Ron Ross Says:

    Hey Again, Phil,

    Until yesterday I didn’t know how to reply on a blog like this because I didn’t know what to fill in for website so I didn’t send anything. I really enjoyed the writing about your car stuck in the snowbank.

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thanks, Ron! I appreciate it!

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