The Blessing of a Flat Tire
When I imagine a good start to a new workweek, I picture coffee and an interesting interview on my favorite radio show for the drive to work, not lying under my car, in dress clothes, trying to change a flat tire in temperatures hovering around ten below zero, even before the wind-chill is factored in.
Little did I know, when I heard that horrible grinding noise of deflated rubber and steel rim against the highway pavement, I would soon look at this as a blessing. After pulling off the highway and climbing underneath my car to begin jacking it up, I suddenly saw feet and heard a voice ask, “Are you okay?” Crawling out from under my vehicle, I saw someone had pulled up in front of me to help. Together, he and I were able to change the tire—before either of us got frostbite.
Thanking him profusely, I got into my car to head to the nearest repair shop. The whole drive I kept thinking about how touched I was by the kindness of this stranger. As he said, “Everybody needs a little help sometimes,” and I certainly had.
I selected the repair shop because, according to my phone, it was the closest. When I stepped inside, the clerk told me they were booked for the day, but he said he would see if they could fit me in sometime. As it just so happened, they ended up having one spot right then, as well as an affordable used tire that was a perfect match for the one that had just blown.
In no time at all I was on my way to work, arriving only an hour later than I had first planned.
All of these things—the flat tire, laying under my car in the cold and snow to jack it up, searching for an unfamiliar repair shop, the unexpected expense of buying a replacement tire—they could have ruined my day. But I found I was surprisingly at peace the whole time, even genuinely happy by the time it was all sorted out.
Why? It is not as if I always react to such misadventures with a calm and joyful spirit. What was different today?
The whole time it seemed as if God were allowing me to see the small measures of His grace that hold me up during inevitable misfortunes. Yes, I had a flat on the highway, but I didn’t lose control of the car and was able to exit safely. Yes, I had to change a flat in -10-degree weather, but I had a stranger’s generosity to help me through. Yes, I had to buy a tire, but the store clerk was fair and helpful, and had exactly what I needed.
So yes, I could have arrived at the office angry and disgruntled, frustrated that nothing was going right on this Monday morning. But I would also be missing the fact that God was at work even in the midst of all that chaos..
If we only had eyes to see, far more often than we realize, our days are filled with grace. It can be easy to miss, but when God gives us a glimpse, it is incredible to see all the little ways He cares for us—right down to a helping hand when you’re lying under a car, covered in snow, trying to fix a flat.
Written by Mason Slater