Several years ago, in the early years of my marriage, we owned a vehicle for a little while that I called the Tonka truck. It was a small truck, but it sat on a large 4-wheel drive frame, making it sit several feet above the ground. Do you remember when musical horns were popular? If so, you know about the timeframe I am speaking of, because this truck had one. We also owned a fishing boat and went out on some large bodies of water, too large for someone who did not know how to swim. Sometimes the larger boats would toss us around for a scary ride until the waves calmed back down.
Regardless, for a while, it was my job to load the boat onto the trailer at the end of the day. Then for some reason, I don’t quite remember, we switched jobs. I was the one who backed the trailer down the ramp and into the water so he could load the boat. Maybe I thought that would be safer since I was a non-swimmer.
Burnside had the steepest ramp of any we had visited. On this occasion, I got the truck, backed it down the ramp, and as I sat there with my foot on the brake, I felt it slipping. The brakes went out, and I began to slide back toward the murky waters. I had no idea what to do, other than panic, push the brake with all my might, and grip the steering wheel with white knuckles.
By what I see now as divine intervention, that crazy horn started playing. It wasn’t even a song. It just made these loud obnoxious noises until some men who were on the dock saw that I was in trouble. Two or three of them ran over and grabbed the front bumper of the truck just as the muffler blew bubbles in the water behind me. It was a blessing that it did sit so high, or I would have been in the water long before. It was a long time after that before I could sit in a vehicle on a slope without it feeling as if I were sliding backward.
I look back now and realize that is exactly where my life was going. I lost control and began sliding backward into murky waters. Like that crazy horn, the noise of the world played so loudly in my ears that I could not hear God’s voice. Just as I was about to drown, God changed my story and the trajectory of my life. He rescued me and brought sweet harmony to my life. He helped me gain ground by making better choices. Without Christ, my life would still be in a sea of troubled waters, gripping the wrong relationship with white knuckles, and letting others control my life as it slipped away from me.