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Friday, August 28, 2009

Gateway Man Saves the Day... Sort Of

"What do you mean... there's no nail in my tire?" is what I was thinking at Gateway Tire Center today. I had driven all the way out there just so they could remove the ominous looking thing from my tire.

The nail head was huge, and I was afraid to touch it. I didn't want to wiggle it loose and flatten my tire. So, I risked, at best, getting a flat tire on the 20-mile journey from my home and, at worst, having my tire blow. But someone had to get that nail out and fix my tire, and Gateway does it for free.

Yes! Gateway would save the day, so I headed straight for my superheroes.

I had a plan. Get to Gateway. Get my tire fixed. That was it. Simple. I could have cared less about the journey, I just wanted to be at Gateway hearing someone say, "we patched your tire - you're ready to go." The journey out could be challenging, and I just wanted to reach my destination and put the journey behind me.

So, when Gateway Man said, "Ma'am, the nail wasn't in your tire, you're free to go." It completely shattered my goal. I was irritated, I drove all the way out here, and there's no nail in my tire -- you've got to be kidding me.

"There's no nail?" I asked.

"The nail wasn't in your tire," he said.

"Okay," I said as he turned to walk away.

But something told me that wasn't enough information for this terrible inconvenience in my day. I had to know more. I saw the nail head plastered to my tire. Where else could the rest of it have gone? I guess I just wasn't going to be happy until Gateway Man either confessed to his lie or went out and punctured my tire himself so that my drive out would have been worth it and my goal achieved.

I said, "Um... Gateway Man..." (okay, I didn't really say Gateway Man, but he was supposed to be my tire superhero, so I'm sure I thought it)"Where was it? The nail? If it wasn't in my tire." **This visual is a lot more fun if you imagine me as a 110 lb., 5'9, chesty redhead with flowing hair, porcelain skin, pouty lips, and a ravenous voice. **

He turned back and said, "It was in the groove and it was really short, so it didn't penetrate the tire."

"Oh, okay, thanks," I said, feeling a bit like Mary Jane (Spiderman heroine for you non-superhero fans) being rescued from a hissing kitten.

Okay, Karen, so what's the analogy, you ask? Oh, you all know me too well. I'm a writer -- my whole life is an analogy. And if I know you personally, so is yours (oh, I'm so facebooking that). :)

Oh, and I just realized I can make a double-duty impact with this analogy -

Writers AND Christians - Are you enjoying and savoring the journey? Even when the trip is hard, challenging, or maybe even a bit dangerous? Or are you so focused on the destination that you rush the journey and learn nothing in the process? Sure enough if you focus on the nail in your tire, you're going to be very dissapointed when the destination isn't what you expected and you missed the entire journey worrying about that stupid nail.

I leave you with this great quote:

"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." - Ursula K. LeGuin


  1. Vonnie said...

    love the "quote" and your analogy!

    and I love the new look, I think. I liked the old one, too.


  2. Smile Awhile said...

    Very well written.
    Very good story.
    Very good analogy.
    A great quote and one I will add to my quotes list.

    This is exactly the kind of stuff I like to read. I like to putter and ponder the lessons of life, thanks for sharing your day with us.


    a good friend of mine's mother passed several years ago, and her epitaph is


    i totally believe that too. not quite as somber as the above example, but when the Cleveland CAVS were beaten by Orlando in the Eastern Conference finals, my son was so sad, but I explained that even though we were sad to not be NBA champs, the entire season was a wonderful ride ... and it was!

  4. warrenjc said...

    Good analogy Karen. If we just keep our eyes, mind, and hearts open, we will never run out of material to write about.

    I have become (or try to be) a lot more observant as I travel. Even when driving to the store.

    A wise brother told me once that all truth is parallel: For every natural truth there is a parallel and corresponding spiritual truth.

    He is a world wide evangelist and I've been to his conventions. His name is Morris Cerullo. Maybe you know or have met him. He's a tremendous man of God.

    Have a great day.


  5. Stephanie Faris said...

    First of all...glad the nail wasn't in your tire and that you got through it all safely and cheaply.

    Secondly, I struggle with this myself. Focusing on the journey rather than the destination. I've found in life every time I've gotten to my destination after a long journey, I wonder why I didn't enjoy the journey more. That's really where the most fun is, actually.

  6. Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

    Oh, I so believe that...about the journey being what matters. Excellent and FUNNY post. I think I'm going to attach notes to my posts stating that my readers should imagine me as a chesty blonde (wait, I am blonde and...well, let's just say things have changed after nursing three girls.) :D
    Fun to stumble across your blog!
    ~ Wendy

  7. Faith Imagined said...

    Great words for me! God has been teaching me to enjoy the process - that's the point. He knows we can make our destination!

    Also, I noticed that you read, "Wild Things." Great reference. I'm keeping it for when my boys grow into different stages of boyness.

  8. Faith Imagined said...

    Great words for me! God has been teaching me to enjoy the process - that's the point. He knows we can make our destination!

    Also, I noticed that you read, "Wild Things." Great reference. I'm keeping it for when my boys grow into different stages of boyness.

  9. Warren Baldwin said...

    Good analogy. I recently had a car problem that was my fault. I almost wished there was something really wrong so I wouldn't have looked so inept! But, I'm glad it turned out so much cheaper anyway. Good story.

  10. Deborah Ann said...

    Whoa, I love your writing style! You kinda remind me! Your banner is soooo cute.

    You're invited to join me:

    for laughs and God times...

  11. Warren Baldwin said...

    Hi, just checking in. wb

  12. Lighthouse Prayer Line said...

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