I had been putting off re-registering our vehicles for long enough and I realized if I didn’t make that my first priority on Friday, I ran the risk of dragging my 3 year old to the DMV, adding to the level of torture I was anticipating. Before leaving the house, I checked to be sure I had all the appropriate documents and plenty of reading material to keep me occupied during the inevitable wait.
As soon as I dropped the boys off at school, I checked the internet for hours and locations, smugly patting myself on the back for saving so much time because the two on my end of town were listed as closed on Fridays. I was avoiding going all the way north to the office we used last year and I saw an address listed near the mall, also north, but not quite as far and more accessible from the highway.
After 3 u-turns I realized that it must actually be in the mall and was nearly giddy thinking I could do a little shopping to reward myself afterwards. It crossed my mind briefly that perhaps I should call and ask where they were located, but I dismissed it quickly, thinking they had better things to do than answer a silly woman’s questions about where they were, when she could easily look on their web site. I was undeterred when I checked the directory but didn’t see the DMV listed and simply decided to fit in with the power walkers and search for it myself. As I climbed the out-of-service escalator to circle the upper level, I decided to actually stop someone who looked like he had spent many an hour walking in the mall where to go. He said, “Oh, that moved over to Research Drive.” That was the one I was trying to avoid.
Discouraged, I trudged back out to the car and consulted my trusty web site, carefully selecting a DMV listing that would be on my way back home. It was still too early to take advantage of any of the stores I usually like to visit when I am that far north, so I headed back out on my mission.
I only needed to make one u-turn to find this address. It was vacant. That man’s words were now ringing loudly in my ears, competing with the angry pounding of blood. So, I punched third address into my navigation system, and headed 6 miles further north to the place I had been trying to avoid. When I pulled into that shopping center, I saw a firetruck and an ambulance parked in front of the DMV. My first hysterical thought was, “Good Lord, the place burned down! It is just not meant to be!” I parked the car, picked up the folder, and headed toward the door, fully expecting to be told the office had been evacuated.
To my surprise, I walked right in and up to the counter to get my number. Then I went into panic mode when the receptionist asked if I had a copy of my husband’s orders…. I raced out to the car, frantically searching for his deployment orders, which of course, were no where to be found. Then at the very back of the folder, which is the same one we used last year, I saw the orders that brought us to Colorado and remembered that is what was needed for tax purposes, not deployment orders. Wishing I had asked for clarification, I went in and got my number…531. I scanned the room looking for a seat and happened to see my number up on the screen. Could it be? No waiting at all? Sure enough, the woman at counter 13 beckoned me over and she was even friendly! So, I dared to ask about the mis-information on the internet and when I found out that a lot of what is posted on the state web sites are outdated and I should have been looking at the county site. Then, one more question, “Are the offices down south really closed on Friday?” She said, “No, they are open today. But, you were smart to come here. You probably would have waited an hour and a half down there. And you missed all the drama here.”
The irony did not escape me, I had just spent that same amount of time driving around looking for an open office and who knows what could have happened to me in the scenario that precipitated a fire truck and ambulance being called to the scene. I have this sneaking suspicion that all that time I spent grumbling while driving around in circles at the whim of an outdated navigation system and false information saved me from something….
I will probably never know what, but I believe God wouldn’t have used my time like that if not for good reason. Have you ever had an experience like that? All that time I wasted cursing about being misguided, He was in control of my every turn. We are all right where He wants us to be, but are we seeing our circumstances according to His wisdom and purpose, or our own?