Move day was upon us and tensions peaked. Will we arrive in time for the mattress delivery? Do we need a bigger truck? Will everything fit in her new home? This was my fifth college move-in experience with my senior and sophomore kids, which by now should have earned me a M.A.M. (Masters of Arts in Moving). Throw in a long-ago overseas relocation to Japan with toddler in tow, and a doctorate should be a slam dunk. But there’s something about college move-in day that generates the most challenges. Not only is it that annual, in-the-face reminder of my singleness as families unpack together while I try to assemble an Ikea bed, but this year menopause had returned with rage to highlight the passing years. No need to check the weather; it’s always 100+ degrees. Add to this particular move a torrential downpour, and we were primed for the perfect storm. By noon, I was maxed out, still on Hwy. 37, down to one lane in a logjam of traffic.
As the stormy whiteout became fierce, my hazard lights became a necessity. I desperately wanted someone to talk to, but there was only a lamp crammed amidst cleaning supplies in the passenger seat. Without a thought, I pushed my steering wheel Bluetooth button and made a request, “Call Jesus.” (I don’t know where the idea came from, but I had already called Mom.) Siri’s smarter twin, affectionately named Natasha, responded, “Can I help you?” She obviously missed my first request so I tried again. “Call Jesus,” I shouted with gusto. Then I waited, expectantly, without a clue of what might occur. Storms instantly clearing? A rainbow in the distance? How about a front-seat cameo appearance — the True Light to replace the old lamp?
After a long pause, as if in deep thought, Natasha responded, “To reduce background noise, please close the windows.” What? The windows were closed, of course. Hello, Natasha, torrential downpour in progress! I repeated her response out loud, and then it hit me. I got an answer, just not the one I expected. There would be no miraculous removal of the obstacles in front of me —no rainbow, no immediate halt in the rain, not even a call from the mattress store to provide a later delivery. As the message simmered a new perspective emerged as I realized that my concerns were all just “background noise,” taking my attention from what was really important. It seems move day was just like any other day — too many of today’s worries; not enough focus on the eternal.
By the end of day, of course, the mattress arrived, the furniture fit, the rain subsided, and we even managed to forego the tearful goodbyes. Jesus did indeed answer my call. And I was grateful.