Sometimes I make things harder than they need to be.
Like pushing Daniel in the wheelchair up our hill with the brakes on.
The boys' walking casts came off the end of March and, as they're growing in their ability to walk longer distances, last week they shared one wheelchair on our walk home from school. On Friday, David took his turn first and I was piggybacking Daniel until we got to the bottom of the hill. Then David generously offered his seat in the wheelchair to Daniel and put the brakes on as he stood up. But I didn't know that.
I only knew it felt really hard to push for some reason. Maybe it was the extra books in David's backpack hanging on the handlebars...
We got to a bump in the sidewalk and I had to make three attempts before I could get over it. Strange.
“Hi there!” our neighbors called out as we walked (I struggled) past their driveway. “How's it going?”
“Good!” I called back, and then felt the need to explain why I was breathing so hard. “The wheelchair seems really hard to push today...”
“Do you want me to push it the rest of the way for you?” the husband offered.
I politely refused, feeling kind of embarrassed for seeming so out-of-shape.
It wasn't until we got inside the house and I maneuvered the wheelchair into its corner of the room that I realized the brakes were on. My arm muscles were sore the rest of the day.
I did something pretty similar a few months ago when I drove the car with the emergency brake on.
I was racking my early morning brain, trying to figure out why it was so difficult to drive, and then grew increasingly concerned as I reached 25 mph and the car started shaking. Cars were passing me left and right as I drove in the middle lane of the 45 mph road. What is wrong with the car? What do I do if it just breaks down right here??? I prayed for God's protection and that He would help me make it 5 more minutes down the road to my physical therapy appointment. I called Charly with huge relief after pulling into the parking lot and turning off the car.
“I really don't think I can drive home,” I told him. “I don't know what's wrong the car, but I didn't feel safe on the road at all.”
As we problem solved together, I offered a possible explanation, “The word BRAKE showed up in red on the dash board. That might have been it. I don't really know...But if it was, I couldn't figure out how to release the emergency brake while I was driving.”
Charly calmly coached me as to where I could find it. I released the very worn-out brake, then the physical therapist released some of the tension in my neck, and I drove home without any problems.
Cars really do drive much better when the brakes aren't on. And wheelchairs, I've found, are much easier to push when brakes aren't holding them back either.
In what areas of my life, I wonder, am I making it harder for God to do His work in me?
Where am I resisting Him?