Finally we could get to our agenda of seeing our new friends in Burnt Corn. As readers may remember, we met some very kind people in a small remote village called Burnt Corn the summer of 2013. They were the gracious people who invited us to the funeral where the horse also lost his life. We knew the children who lived here far away from any entertainment or stuff of the world would be excited for visitors.
The snow had stopped and the roads were wet. Most roads in this area are dirt. The dirt here is red and perfect to make clay. Clay is a blessing for homes, but not always for roads….especially after snow! As we turned at the tire marked, “Burnt Corn” in bright yellow, Derek began to grimace. The road was a mess! It is hard to describe. The ruts of other drivers are about 6-9 inches deep. In Illinois, we would use those as a guide. In this area the ruts become sink holes that are slippery. Every rotation of the tire leads you into miry clay.
We remembered our hitchhiker warning that the roads may not be passable. We were in our truck, though! We are from Michigan and Illinois! We know how to manuever in snow! Derek’s teeth were clenched tight as he basically took the road foot by foot sideways. Soon we came upon a silver car stuck along side the road. It was all Derek could do to get our truck to stop so we could offer help.
The man was trying to get back to the village as well and assured us that someone was coming to tow him out. Derek asked if the the roads would be getting better. I am sure that secretly the man was having a good laugh thinking of us snaking our way back into the remote area to be caught in mud until spring! He basically told us to enter at our own risk.
Now remember….we started to have our own agenda here. We had visions of children and older Navajo ladies we had met flocking to us so grateful for a visit at Christmas. We had wandered from following Abba’s lead. Now we were quite literally spinning our wheels. We said good-bye to our stuck advisor and started to inch forward – right towards his car! Yes, we couldn’t straighten out. We just slid towards him. The poor guy had to jump into the mud and push US away from him! We barely missed his back end. We hollered “thanks!” And bumped on down the road.
We discussed our stupidity as Derek clenched the wheel. I asked him to turn around. He asked me how that would happen exactly without a turn-around to be seen. I asked him what we would do if we were stuck. He asked me to pray we wouldn’t. The dog asked to get out to go to the bathroom. There was a resounding, “No!” in the truck.
Sometimes we find ourselves off course in ministry. It just doesn’t feel blessed. What we want to do comes hard. It isn’t a matter of pressing in to make it work; it is a matter of waiting for the still voice of leading. As we travel farther into our own desires and expectations, we get stuck in ruts and anxiety because we aren’t following The Plan any more.
Up ahead there was a small road (term used loosely) for cattle and sheep probably. We slowed down to see if we could possibly pull in and back out to get back to the main road. Derek got out to survey the path. He was not very hopeful but looking ahead looked worse. He was covered in mud when he got back in the truck. He began the careful maneuvering into the small pathway. So far, so good. Now to back out and right. The truck slid and tried to do it’s own dance towards the ditch, but Derek kept her on the road. My prayers were desperate and full of self-pity. We were headed back out!
As we came up to the stuck car again, the man smiled. I am sure he was thinking of sharing this story in the village! Stupid bilagaanas! Wouldn’t you know it – our truck went right towards his car again! He had to jump out and push us away! We got past him and waved out the windows. I was instantly hit with a thought, ” We didn’t give him bread and candy!”
Yep. That wonderful husband of mine jumped back into the mud with bread in hand to offer love to the man who got us back on the right road.