The blizzard we experienced this week in ND reminded me of a memory of a blizzard in the mid 80’s when I was in high school. It started like any blizzard in ND, it just creeps up on you, then within minutes, wham, it changes for the worse. I remember being at home with my parents and brothers, which was a place I didn’t like to be, thinking “there is no way I am going to spend the entire day or more with them”!
Once I get a train of thinking going in my mind, it’s pretty much done for and I typically act on it. There is a ninety-nine-point nine percent chance I will act on whatever I’m thinking. I know it’s crazy and compulsive and you’d think that type of thought process would have left me by now, nah – it hasn’t! But one thing that has changed is the years of maturity has thrown in lots of experiences that have gone bad to make me second guess my initial gut reaction.
At the beginning of the blizzard I decided I would be leaving the house and go to town so I could hang out with my friends for the duration of the storm. I informed my parents I was going to town to hang out with friends because I’d get too bored, you can only imagine their reaction. At the time my relationship with my parents was not good.
Off I went - I did get all the winter gear on; coat, boots, gloves, hat. Trapesing outside into a wall of white I had a flash of reality run through my thoughts, “maybe I shouldn’t go”. But the thought of staying in my room most of the day to avoid my parents won over and I began driving down the road. We lived four miles out of town on a straight road of which I had driven many, many times so I thought it wouldn’t be that bad.
I could not see more than twenty feet in front of me and within minutes’ fear set in. For any of you that have driven in blizzard conditions it’s unbelievable how bad the winds of the northern plains can create a pure canvas of white. You are forced to continue driving because you cannot turn around. This was the case with me on this blizzard day. I knew I only had about half mile to go because I was coming up on the last farm before entering town, yet as I passed the farm the wind picked up even more. I couldn’t see more then the front end of the vehicle. I had to pull over and get off the road. However, I didn’t want to get too far over because the ditches where kind of deep. I knew I was in big trouble.
Panic set in but I did have enough sense to not leave the vehicle. I began to think through what I had just done and what could happen to me and then there was a knock on the window. One of the sons of the family who’s farm I just passed was a deputy for the county sheriff’s department and was driving into work. He rescued me and took me into my friend’s house.
Being a parent of teenagers, I say STUPID!!! And, why couldn’t you control your kid? Well, I’ve watched several National Geographic TV specials and one was on herding wild horses. The wild horses have a mind of their own, they will not be led or told what to do, they want to go their own way and there is no way they want to do as the other tame horses are doing.
My life has always been like wild horses for many years until God intervened and grabbed my heart. I have changed so much since those wild rebellious years. During the years of coming to know God I was shown the Footprints poem. It truly describes how God has always been with me and that He was truly with me during that blizzard.
Footprints in the Sand
One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You'd walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me."
He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you."