Column: Keep calm: We’ll figure it out

I’m not sure who Murphy is, and I don’t know if he discovered the “law” associated with his name, but I have experienced it many times over in my life.

The popular statement of Murphy’s Law is “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” In many ways, this principle strikes me as being a bit too pessimistic and fatalistic, but my own life experience, some of it extremely recent, leads me to believe it is not altogether false. There are absolutely times when it appears as if anything that can possibly go wrong does go wrong.

We have experienced a variation of Murphy’s Law when it comes to bus tires on mission trips. If a tire can go flat, it will.

On a trip a few years ago, we lost a total of three tires between a bus and a trailer. In preparation for this year’s trip, we had brand-new tires put on both buses and our trailer. One would think with all brand-new tires, there wouldn’t be much that could go wrong. One would be incorrect.

This year’s mission trip was to take place in Burlington, North Carolina. In order to make the trip more manageable, we arranged to stop for the night at a Christian school with which I had connections from my time in West Virginia.

As we pulled off of the interstate, we heard a distinct and familiar sound: We had blown a tire on one of our buses. A quick survey of the bus tires revealed that not only did we have a flat tire, but it was an inside tire of our real duals.

Standing on the side of the road, Murphy’s Law continued to inspire questions in my heart and mind. After each question, however, a phrase would repeat to calm the concerns. It almost felt like a contemporary Psalm or responsive reading. Here’s how it went:

With God’s grace, we were able to keep calm, and we did figure it out. It turns out that Murphy’s Law is no match for divine providence. After calling several garages, visiting two Walmarts and driving 20 minutes in the wrong direction, we found ourselves across the street from a tire shop that was open on Sunday, had the tire we needed and was willing to work on a bus.

Not only that, but the service manager himself did the work. Where some would see a change in luck, I see the good gifts of a good God at the perfect time and place.

“Keep calm: We’ll figure it out.” We did figure it out, but “we” was not just the people on the trip. We had a divine hand helping us out. It’s a hand that is ever-present, come what may. God promised he will never leave or forsake us. Jesus promised his disciples that as they went into the world, he would go with them to the very end of the age.

When our inner voice continues to highlight the inevitable reality of all that could and has gone wrong, there is another voice we need to hear. It’s the voice of our benevolent and loving God reminding us that we aren’t alone and that help is on the way. So when Murphy’s Law is in full effect, may we hear the encouraging voice of the Lord: “Keep calm: We’ll figure it out.”

The Rev. Jeremy Myers is the lead pastor of First Baptist Church in Seymour. Read his blog at Send comments to [email protected].

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