So around 7:30 pm last night Kathy gets off the phone and tells me, “A tree fell on our house, our rental house in California.”
“What?! A tree can’t fall on our house right now. We can’t afford a tree guy and I have things to do at work tomorrow that can’t wait.” I say, calmly (not!)
The weather in California has been terrible lately, flooding, high winds — just nasty. So we pray about it, I call the boss who graciously allows me the time off, we throw some stuff in the truck and head up to my parent’s house to load up a couple of chainsaws. (that they graciously loaned us) It’s already 11 pm by the time we ‘re heading South on I-5 to Cali. When we hit Mt. Shasta City it’s all snow and slush, we’re both fading out, but I want to push through the snowy part of the drive in case it gets worse over night. We make it down the hill and as far as Lake Head, at the North end of Lake Shasta, where we pull into a motel. It’s 1:30 am. The poor guy running the motel — I ring the bell and he staggers out in his bath robe, more than half asleep. He can’t get the computer to work, he can’t get the credit card machine to work. I can’t tell if they really don’t work or if it’s because the guy is still half asleep. Finally I give him cash and he gives me a receipt scribbled out on a piece of paper that he tore off the corner of a legal pad. We go to our room — what a dive! Looks like they haven’t redecorated since FDR was president. The paint is peeling, the linoleum in the bathroom is curling up. We don’t care, we’re so tired we just crash. After a solid 5.5 hours of sleep Kathy’s alarm goes off, we throw on our clothes and off we go. I call the office a little before 8 am and make some arrangements to accomodate our unexpected trip.
We pull into the driveway, walk around the back and low and behold there it is, a big tree on top of our roof. So I fire up the chain saw and cut the bottom off the partially unearthed root ball. Then I climb up onto the snow covered roof with the saw and do a balancing act across to the tree. Surprisingly I have decent traction on the snow and feel like I have a 70/30 or so chance of not falling off and breaking my neck. I fire up the saw and work for a 1/2 hour taking a couple of sections off the top. As I’m precariously perched on the edge of the snow covered roof, trying not to slip and cut off my arm, I hear a faint peeping noise, “what in the heck is that?” I think to myself. I turn off the saw, look down, and realize it’s my wife spouting off bits of important advice like, “don’t fall off the roof” and, “be careful not to cut off your arm.” Lucky she said something because I was just about to do both of those things just moments before she warned me. I fire the saw back up and continue for a minute or two but then the chain gets a piece of wood stuck in it and binds. So I head back across the roof but what’s this? Somebody changed the rules from the first time I crossed the roof. In the last forty minutes it started raining instead of snowing and the snow on the roof has transformed into slush that’s slicker than snot. I give myself a 30/70 chance of not falling off and breaking my neck. By God’s grace I make it, my neighbor offers his shop to fiddle with the saw. We get it fixed and finish the job.
The gutters are trashed, Doug the gutter guy tells me it’s going to cost plenty to fix it, I burned a day off, I have a day’s worth of work waiting for me tomorrow to clean up the mess, but hey, the tree’s on the ground, no one is hurt. I see God’s grace in it all.
Whatever you’re going through, you have a choice: you can take inventory on the good or you can take inventory on the bad. Your life can be a great adventure that you travel through with God, or, it can be a bummer. It’s your choice.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Life’s an adventure.
Jon Courson / Applegate Christian Fellowship