Dave and I left early Sunday morning to drive to our winter home in Mazatlán, Mexico, with high hopes of relaxing, working at the orphanages and catching up with dear friends. We were grateful there were only a few problems (Dallas traffic-NUTS!) in the twelve-hour ride from Fort Scott to Lytle, Texas, where we spent the night, approximately two hours from the border. That evening, friends began texting warnings of Hurricane Willa which was to hit Mazatlán Tuesday evening. We figured that, with an early start on Monday, we could beat the storm and be there mid-day Tuesday to protect our property.
We have no common sense.
Dave and I left Lytle at 7:00 A.M. and two hours later pulled over just short of the immigration office in order to find our passports and documents to present to the guards. Upon NOT finding my backpack which held my passport (not to mention, my laptop and cash), I was a little desperate when I spoke. “Dave, didn’t you say that you were bringing my luggage to the car this morning, and the ONLY thing I was to get was my water bottle?”
“I said I would get your suitcase and reminded you to get your water. That didn’t mean that was the ONLY thing you were to get.”
“Swell,” I growled. “My backpack, the backpack that I assumed you carried to the car, is in the hotel room. We have to go back.”
Two hours to return to our hotel. Do the math. An EXTRA four hours of driving before even crossing into Mexico. Dave was nonplussed about the entire ordeal. I wanted to bang my head into the dashboard. Four hours seemed like ten.
Around noon we registered our truck and had our documents approved. At 12:30 we were greeted with the Mexico Red Light, meaning we would be delayed as our vehicle had to be inspected, X-rayed and designated drug-free. So, at 1:30 P.M. instead of 9:00 A.M., we were in Mexico. The hurricane was five hours closer than when we started.
At dark, we settled in a hotel room the size of a storm shelter, figuring we now could arrive in Mazatlán around 4:00 P.M. the following day, beating Willa by five hours. WRONG! Text alerts and emails kept us posted on the dangers ahead. People were evacuating Mazatlán and heading for Durango, a city on the other side of the mountains…the mountains we still needed to cross. Should we proceed, we would be driving into 120 mile-per-hour winds and flooded streets. Electricity would be turned off, water polluted and tree damage severe.
When it dawned on us that we really did lack common sense, Dave and I stopped in Durango to spend the night. From there, we continued to receive the devastating news of what awaited us in Mazatlán. Because our condo is on the bottom floor, I pictured our furniture floating, smashing through windows and drifting into the Pacific. But by morning, the forecast changed. Willa had altered courses and missed Mazatlán completely.
There was more good news. The hotel concierge reported that the toll roads now were open which was fortunate since they had been closed the day before. We couldn’t have made the drive even if we dared to! Today was a different story.
In retrospect, it was a blessing my backpack was left in the Lytle hotel room. Those four hours lost possibly prevented us from determinedly pressing forward on our trip, causing us to be on the mountain pass when it was closed.
I wonder how old I will have to be before I live out Paul’s writing to “give thanks in all circumstances.” I could have spent those four extra hours singing praises to God instead of pouting. I’m expecting there to be many more times of testing before I have the common sense to know that God is always working for good, even when I’m not.