My son and I had just returned from a week long trip. We landed late on a Saturday night at the busiest airport in the whole world. My husband and three other kids were suppose to be picking us up.
My husband and I look at time differently. I prefer being early while he prefers not having to wait. My flight arrived 15 minutes early. Due to being at the gate adjacent to baggage claim, my son and I didn’t have to ride the plane train at all. Consequently, we were ready to be picked up minutes after the scheduled landing time. Where was my husband? Far, far from the airport. However, since “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” my patience towards him was at full capacity and squelched the mild irritable feelings that briefly considered surfacing.
Once my husband and three other kids finally made it to where my son and I had been standing on the curb for awhile, I was so happy to see them all. A squeal even escaped me. After having been spread across three states for a week, we were all back together. One big happy family again! So excited!
Within minutes on the road and while everyone was happily talking and catching up, I suddenly noticed the gas light lit up in front of my husband like a big neon sign and informing us that we had only 17 miles till empty. Our home was more than 17 miles away.
“Babe!” I exclaimed and immediately started urging my husband to stop and get gas. It was 10:30pm with tons of traffic on the interstate, which had six lanes going each way. We were in the innermost lane (i.e the absolute farthest lane away from any gas station). I anxiously watched as the miles left ticked off one by one…16. 15. 14.
How did my husband respond? “We’ll be fine.” The deep love I had just felt at the curb at the airport was quickly being replaced by strong feelings of agitation.
My husband and I think differently about gas as well. When I have a quarter of a tank of gas left, I head to a gas station. Ryan…I’m still not sure what exactly motivates him to finally buy gas. One time we were on a church camping trip far from civilization and thankfully managed to pull into a gas station with the gas light saying we had only 4 miles left. That was fun.
Back to the current gas situation…
While starting to freak out internally only minutes after being reunited, I outwardly attempted to remain as respectful as possible while looking up gas stations as my husband had requested. Though they existed, we stayed in the farthest lane away from any solution to our predicament. Confusion mixed with rising anger was striving to take over me. How was it possible that I had just been away from the love of my life for an entire week and now within less than 15 minutes we were on the precipice of a major conflict?!
I asked myself what would I want my daughter to do if she was the wife and this was her husband. That question has helped me in the past in hard moments and it once again brought clarity. I wouldn’t want her yelling at her husband. I wouldn’t want her freaking out. I would want her to do one thing. The solution to my own personal predicament was to trust and obey God. I knew that meant I needed to pray to God to provide us with gas in time and then submit to my husband’s choice of which gas station to stop at. Here was one of those moments when my husband was taking me in a way I thought was unwise and could lead to my family of six being stuck on the interstate (one time growing up, I was riding in a car that ran out of gas…so, I know from personal experience it does actually happen). Everything in me wanted to emphatically demand he get gas. Well, almost everything in me. The Holy Spirit resides in me as well. And that part of me reminded me that God had this moment under His complete control even if we ran out of gas. That I could do right in this moment. That I didn’t have to lose it. And so I prayed that we would make it to a gas station. I prayed that I would trust God in this moment. I prayed that I would submit to Ryan and not get in a conflict over this.
Praise God Ryan made it to the gas station at our exit. We didn’t run out of gas. And we didn’t get into a conflict.
These type of moments always require a battle. Either an internal battle with self or an outward battle with the other person.
Another thing Ryan and I think differently about is making beds. I daily make a bed as soon as possible. Ryan is fine to never have a bed made. Once home from the airport and gas station, I went to my bedroom. Instead of a disheveled mess of sheets, our bed was actually made. Ryan had made the bed! Just for me! Awwww! I feel loved!
Moral: Little, ordinary moments reveal who we truly love.
(My editor’s takeaway after reading this post: Ryan nailed it again. I have a feeling I will be in similar gas situations in the future. Gotta love my husband!)