I want to tell you about something that happened recently. Something I did to help a stranded motorist on my street. I remember that it was a hot day and my wife had just pulled into the drive. I was outside grilling dinner and received the following text message from her:
I thought that she was pulling a prank, I walked over to her car to confront her on such a poor performance. Instead, my wife — my good wife, was actually concerned about the woman trying to change her tire down the street and was wondering if I could help her.
To be honest, I was hesitant. Not that I was unwilling, but instead I was “afraid of being in the way”. Which was yet another trick that my anxiety was trying to tell me. So I faced my fears and decided to help this lady put on her spare.
I walked over and asked if I could help her. She proceeded to tell me that she was late picking up her kids from a sitter and was planning to leave town the next morning. She also mentioned that she couldn’t get in touch with anyone that could help her. It was at this moment that I could be a hero. If I swapped out her spare and got her on her way, I would be the guy who saved the day.
I had successfully loosened the first lug nut and proceeded to attempt the second. Yet, for some reason, it seemed to not want to budge. I decided to give it all I had and….POP! The damned lug bolt snapped! It freakin’ snapped! I’m no Hulk nor a He-Man, but I had just snapped a freakin’ lug bolt.
I proceeded to show her the lug nut and half of the lug bolt. I reassured her that it happens — not often, but it happens and that the car was still drivable. Thankfully, another lug nut came off.
Just two more to go and then I can save the day. I’m tired now but I have to keep pushing! I’ve just got…to…twist this…..POP!
Now I’m no stranger to changing a tire and have done my fair share swapping tires during some not so pleasant conditions. [If you’ve ever driven through DeBeque Canyon on Interstate 70, then you know why it wasn’t all that pleasant.] But at this moment, I was starting to believe it was my first time changing a tire!
Going back to the Discovery Channel’s survival shows, I remembered that a tire can still be attached with the three remaining lug nuts. I told her that as long as she drove slowly, she could reach her destination.
Lord, please let this woman reach her destination.
I got the last lug nut off and got the spare attached to the three remaining lug nuts. We awkwardly said our goodbyes and she slowly drove down the street.
Did I save the day?
I felt embarrassed and like a fool. I kept wondering if she ever made it to her destination without her tire falling off. Did I make that lady’s day even worse than it already was? Had I not helped, would someone have stopped and lended a hand? I don’t know.
What I do know is that I did the best I could at the time for someone needing help. Although I can’t change the events that had unfolded; I know that I shouldn’t dwell on them either. What’s done is done and you should accept that the past is in the past. Start living in the present — today.
I tell you this story because sometimes life is but folly and not every act of heroism results in you being the savior you seem to think you will be. Though don’t let that discourage you from helping others. Don’t do good deeds just for the rewards — do them because you can. Do them because it’s the right thing to do.