“Two are better than one….A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12b
She and I met this past summer. We were in a small group that met for several weeks. Then we all kind of went our separate ways, but I felt a special bond with these women. We had shared personal issues during our discussion times, and I felt I could trust them. I sent them a personal prayer request via email, and she answered right away – “God has shown you to me (and thereby me to you).” And thus, she and I decided to do things together – take day trips, play card games and board games, etc.
Our first “together time” was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. We would drive west on I-66 and take in the beauty of the fall colors in the mountains. When I had told my husband of our planned afternoon drive, he had said, “If you end up near Middletown, stop at the Route 11 Potato Chip Factory and pick up a couple of cases of potato chips.”
So, around 1:30 p.m., she and I headed toward the potato chip factory, chatting and getting to know one another, and taking in the spectacular colors of the leaves as we drove. Arriving in Middletown, we discovered that the factory was no longer there. A local gentleman said that the factory had moved to Woodstock, VA. So, on we drove down Route 11 toward Woodstock. In Woodstock, we were told that the factory was actually in Mt. Jackson, about 10 miles farther south. We were advised to take I-81 because we would be able to see the potato chip factory from the interstate.
We traveled about a mile on I-81 – and heard an awful sound! A tire on her car had blown out!! She pulled over to the shoulder, where we took out the jack and spare tire and flagged down a pickup truck with two older gentlemen in it. They seemed pleased to be able to help us – until they (and we) realized that her tires had wheel locks on them and we could not find the tool necessary to remove the wheel lock. She called her insurance company, through which she has roadside assistance. The men left and we waited (fortunately, only about 20 minutes) for a tow truck.
The young man driving the tow truck tried valiantly to remove that wheel. He finally said, “I’m gonna have to tow the car to our shop. We should have the necessary tools to get it off there.” About half an hour after we arrived at the service station, the old, blown-out tire had been removed and the spare installed. By now, though, it was after 6:00 p.m. We knew the potato chip factory would be closed, so we headed back home – after stopping in Woodstock for a quick bite to eat!
While having a flat tire and sitting on the shoulder of an interstate for 2 hours was not what we had planned, the time there gave she and I an opportunity to chat and to be grateful: We were grateful that neither of us was alone when the tire blew out, we were grateful for the two kind gentlemen who took pity on us helpless women and tried their best to help us, we were grateful for the nice tow truck driver who assisted us, and we were grateful that the service station was eventually able to get us back on the road. And she was grateful that the entire ordeal only cost $35! Mostly, though we were grateful that God was with us through the whole afternoon! (He is the third strand in the cord that is mentioned in Ecclesiastes!)