During high school summers I worked at the resort area of Silver Lake Michigan. I worked at the cash register and redemption center of Craig’s Cruisers: loud video games, go-carts, and mini-golf. Once a week I got to work in the mini-golf house by a pretend waterfall. There you could smell the campfires of the Yogi Bear Campground across the little lake. I liked that little house.
The other five days of the week I helped kids count tickets and then pick out chinese finger traps, rings and sort through piles of tattoos for exactly the right one. Patience was very important, but hard when the words smokin’ tokens sounded from one arcade game every five minutes.
One night after an evening shift, around 11:30 pm, in darkness, the blue blazer I drove ran out of gas. I pulled over to the side of the road.
Dark. Night. Alone. Country road.
At first, I was calm and walked to a house down the road with lights on and knocked on the door. (You see there were no cell phones back then.) Those nice people let me call my parents. Where was I? I don’t know, on the road. What was wrong? I don’t know the car just stopped. Then, I thanked the people and went back to my car.
Back in my car I realized that someone I work with might come by and see me stranded. I decided I would be much to shy for that to happen. I might possibly die of embarrassment. Walking back I also realized, I had not turned the emergency flashers on. I couldn’t figure out how to turn them on though.
So, I did what any rational sixteen-year-old would do. I laid down on the front seat floor of the car, so the car looked abandoned and manually turned the lights on and off for faux flashers.
What a rational person wouldn’t do this? Oddly enough I knew this as I lay on the floor.
Eventually my parents rescued me with an extra tank of gas in tow. I saw their lights and was able to get off the floor before they saw me. I felt it important they did not know the full extent of my neurotic nature.
I have always remembered laying on the floor of the car turning the lights on and off.
That was the absurd lengths I would go to avoid something that would make me uncomfortable.
Hiding felt better. Honestly, hiding still feels better.
I think we are kind of good at hiding from things we don’t want to do.
Messages we don’t care to take to heart.
Nudgings from God that are uncomfortable.
It’s so much easier to lay on the floor and turn the lights on and off manually.
I’m here God, but a little immobile at the moment… try back later.
Every time I want to hide. I remember that moment.
I say, “I’m here God. Perfectly- not-perfect. But I’m here. I’m ready. I’m rising up off this floor.”