We are off to a rock concert in Abbotsford tonight (about an hour's drive east). Headlined by Toby Mac its going to be a great evening I am sure.
A year ago I wasn't so sure.....
In December of 2009 Toby Mac was coming to Abbotsford on his Winter Wonder Slam Tour. My son David is a HUGE fan and as a Mom I wanted to take him to the show. BUT. Allan couldn't make it so I would have to drive on my own. Snow was forecast. It would be a long, dark, late drive home alone. It was $100 right before Christmas. SO I waited until the very last minute to make the decision and on the morning of the concert I told the kids I would take them. They we VERY excited. After work we headed out through heavy traffic. It became obvious that we had lost our window for a sit-down dinner stop so we drove through the omnipresent McDonalds Drive Through and the 3 of us ate dinner and dessert and had a drink each for $12 (which led to a great discussion on nutrition and poverty and obesity - funny how these moments so often come up on car rides).
I didn't have GPS but I had a printed google map and I managed to take the right exit off Highway 1 but ended up in a weird parking lot. I did not have tickets so I was feeling the pressure to get to the box office and praying I had not come all this way in vain. We ended up on the wrong side of the arena and so we jogged all the way around in the freezing cold to get in line at the box office.
As we were standing there a man walked over to me and asked "How many tickets are you looking for?" I said "3" but I didn't really engage with him - my distrust readily to the fore - no scalped tickets for me. Then he said "A friend of mine came into my store this week and he couldn't make it to the concert tonight but he bought 3 tickets and he asked me to give them away. I have been waiting here for the right people to come along and I would like to give you these 3 tickets.". I was stunned and immediately offered to buy them. He said "These are a gift for you, please take them and enjoy the concert". I took the proffered tickets and thanked him so much and told him what a last minute decision it had been to come and how far we had driven and how grateful I was. He was clearly delighted and said he was going to tell his friend the story. (He was Lando from the House of James for those who have heard him on the radio).
We went in and found great seats, met up with some friends and had a great, great evening. David was beyond excited and delighted. I thought I was going to a) have a heart attack from the reverberations in my chest from the volume of the music and b) be deaf forever but to watch the kids have a ball and dance away was worth it.
I texted Allan to ask if he could find a gas station close to where I was as I needed gas before I went too far. Her texted back there was one just before the highway and he also told me it was starting to snow.
After the show around 10:30pm we headed to the car - the parking lot was chaos and it took us nearly 20 minutes to get out and the parking guys directed us out - I wanted to turn right towards the gas station but they had everyone turn left and soon I was following a line of red taillights on a country road going in the wrong direction. After a few minutes we came to an intersection I recognised and turned towards home but I knew on this route there was no gas station for miles . The kids were tired and after 15 minutes they were both asleep. And then it started to snow...... Now I was really asking (pleading with) God to keep us safely on the road and my gas tank from running dry. I felt pretty peaceful and I drove all the way home no problem. Allan helped me get sleepy kids into bed.
This may sound like a nice story with some good karma or coincidence or serendipity or whatever you want to call it or you could say God worked it all out. He blessed us (though we were undeserving) through someone elses generosity and kept us safe (and enough gas in the tank!!). My kids and I have chosen to see this moment as a God moment - and we treasure it as a tangible sign of an invisible God and for how it strengthened our faith in a God who cares for us and has worked out all the details!
We have our tickets for the show tonight but I am kinda curious to see what God might have in store!