23 January 13
Saying yes is the hardest part about living an abundant life. It means that I have to be willing to accept what comes our way — good or bad — as an enriching experience given to me so I can grow and flourish. Or I could take what is given and wilt from the exposure, but what kind of life would that be?
Jim Carrey’s flick Yes Man comes to mind when I think of how our lives have changed and all the great places we have been to because we’ve said yes. We have been invited home more times than I can count, but I still remember the first time strangers took us in. That experience transformed our view of what travel could look like — we didn’t have to pilgrims in a weary world, we could be nomads flowing between friends!
Still, I hesitate when I am offered assistance. I pause when we receive invitations. I don’t want to be a nuisance, I don’t want to take advantage of anyone, and I don’t want to be foolish. It’s hard for me to simply say yes.
Today, when our newly-fixed bus broke down halfway up a hill in rural northern Tasmania, the one car that stopped to offer assistance was a young man who lives at the bottom of the hill. I thought my mechanical problem was temporary and only needed the bus to cool down — I said as much — but Josh said he’d come back and help after he off-loaded the mare that was standing quietly in the horse float behind his ute.
Fifteen minutes later, when Josh turned up with his father Travers, they rapidly took over the bus. Talking among themselves, they diagnosed the problem and thought they could fix it, so we limped down the hill and up their driveway.
Our girls have so quickly adjusted to our lifestyle that they don’t realise what a precious gift we are given by the people who invite us home. The girls aren’t afraid to say yes when offered yummy things to eat or drink, they’ll eagerly accept offerings of entertainment, and they’ll be forthright in asking for a bath in a new friend’s home. I’m the mature, boring adult lurking outside the house, not wanting to put anyone out, refusing cappuccinos and snacks, unable to really believe that what is offered is mine if I just accept it!
Tonight I am so grateful for Josh’s offer of help and the way his family took us in. The fellows did fix the bus — an loose nut was the culprit of my mid-hill loss of power — and then they looked for more things to help with.
I’m still learning to humbly accept offers of assistance, which may be why we’ve had recent mechanical trouble. If I’m ever tempted to feel discontent in my circumstances, I just need to look at where we are — like tonight — and then I’m grateful once more, grateful that I accepted help.