I have had this on my mind the past few days, so I decided to share it. I don’t know if it persists in my thoughts because I need the reminder, or if someone else does, but here it is . . .
We had gone to Utah to spend Thanksgiving, and after a wonderful weekend of fun, family and feasting, were headed home. We live in Arizona, and the drive back is about 10 and ½ hours. We have driven it often over the past twenty-four years and have our route down to undeviating perfection. Either direction we go, we make the exact same stops. Going south, our first stop is always at the Chevron in Panguitch, next is the dam in Page where we get to walk for a few minutes to stretch our legs, then Flagstaff and home. It never changes. Except this one time.
About forty minutes out of Panguitch, I suddenly had to use the bathroom. My husband (as I mentioned in the heading of this blog) does not like to stop at all on trips. He only makes the stops we do because I insist. So, when I told him I needed an unplanned potty break in Kanab, his response was, “Are you sure?” Would I kid about something like this? Yes, I was sure. So he pulled into the first gas station we came to and I got out and winced when I saw there was only one bathroom and a long line. But, what’s a girl to do? I got in line and waited my turn.
After about a minute, a mother and her two daughters came and stood in line behind me. At first I didn’t pay much attention to them, but then I looked more closely at the mother. Suddenly I realized I knew her, and cried out, “Kristine H__!” Kristine was a very good friend of mine in college. She also made my wedding dress. And I hadn’t seen her since the day I got married.
Suddenly I wished I had taken time that morning to curl my hair . . . put on makeup . . . lose thirty pounds. But those thoughts quickly vanished with the excitement of seeing a very dear friend in, of all places, a gas station in Kanab.
She and her family had gone to Arizona to spend Thanksgiving with her son who lives in Mesa and were now returning to Provo. They never stop in Kanab either, but this time, for some reason, she needed to make an unplanned bathroom stop along the way. So there we were together, for the first time in years.
I have given some thought to this since that day. I can just picture some angels in Heaven looking down and saying, “Oh, look at that! Those two old friends are going to be passing through Kanab at exactly the same moment. Too bad they will never know it. Wait! I have a plan . . . Bladder attack!“
Although I suppose there are those who will insist it was just a very lucky coincidence, I don’t believe that. A more likely explanation, and the one I feel is true, is that Heaven is very much more aware of our lives than we may often believe, and even the little things are noted. And although we may face challenges in living that can’t be removed (for our own good) we are also often given little gifts along the way that bring great . . . joy to our journey.