Randy Crane: Making the best of ‘tipping over’

My wife and I stopped at a small town cafe for some breakfast one morning.

Our waitress was a friendly woman who had obviously seen quite a few decades of life. The place wasn’t all that busy and she didn’t mind pausing to visit with us a bit when she brought our menus.

She commented on the Buffalo River cap I was wearing, “Have you floated the Buffalo?”

I said only one time. She proceeded to tell us how she and her husband had been floating Ozark rivers for 52 years and that the only time they’d ever tipped over was on the Buffalo.

She went into great detail of how her son, daughter-in-law and young grandson along in another canoe had stopped to help them get tipped back upright and recover a few items in the water, and how their young grandson always remembered being “left on an island” in which his parents had parked their canoe to lend a hand to his grandparents.

It was an adventure of his youth he remembered of the occasion that made her own telling of the story all these years later all the sweeter. It was a joy for us to hear her recall the story.

She turned in our order. We ate our breakfast and got back on the road. That’s when the thought occurred to me as I recalled her story: Funny, that which was not planned, what they did NOT want to happen, became a well remembered story now told with sweet fondness. How much life can be that way sometimes!

The good news is this: By God’s grace, the unplanned or even undesired events of life can end up being more memorable, maybe even amusing moments.

We will have “tip overs” in life.

The question is, will we allow them to become sweet or bitter memories?

Charles Swindoll put it this way: Every problem is an opportunity to prove God’s power. Every day, we encounter countless golden opportunities, brilliantly disguised as insurmountable problems.

In Romans 8:28, the Apostle Paul tells us we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Life won’t always be smooth sailing with no difficulties, but, by God’s grace and our willingness to trust him no matter what, we can find that good which he works on our behalf.

Try remembering this when something ends up not going as you’d planned or wanted.

Rev. Randy Crane is the pastor at Waldensian Presbyterian Church in Monett. He may be reached at cranes5@hotmail.com.