A very religious man was once caught in rising floodwaters. He climbed onto the roof of his house and trusted God to rescue him. A neighbor came by in a canoe and said, “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll paddle to safety.” “No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me” A short time later the police came by in a boat. “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll take you to safety.” “No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me” A little time later a rescue services helicopter hovered overhead, let down a rope ladder and said. “The waters will soon be above your house. Climb the ladder and we’ll fly you to safety.” “No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me” All this time the floodwaters continued to rise, until soon they reached above the roof and the religious man drowned. When he arrived at heaven he demanded an audience with God. Ushered into God’s throne room he said, “Lord, why am I here in heaven? I prayed for you to save me, I trusted you to save me from that flood.” “Yes you did my child” replied the Lord. “And I sent you a canoe, a boat and a helicopter. But you never got in.”
Like the man in the boat accepting assistance is not my strong suit. Yet over the last few weeks accepting assistance from friends, neighbors, and professional as I prepared to move became commonplace. Yet this story of a small town in Oklahoma is incredible and bears telling. It was late Tuesday afternoon. We had driven through the night, and had slept only an hour or two in the previous 36 hours. We had just blown our second tire on the trailer of the day. Yes, you read it right, second. So we slowed down on the toll road and crept off the ramp into the small town of Vinita, OK. At the toll booth I asked the worker where I might find someone to repair my tire. The worker gave me a card with a number to a tire repair place, and the owner’s cell phone number. It was approaching the store’s 5PM closing time. However, the worker assured us that the tire shop owner would be glad to repair it after hours for us. All we had to do is call him. So we called the tire shop owner and explained our situation, and let him know we also needed to get gas, first. He gave us directions to the gas station, and stayed on the phone with us until we arrived at the gas station. While filling up the truck with gas we inquired about water for the horses. The gas station attendant graciously allowed us to obtain water for the animals. While getting water for the horse we met a guy that worked for Fed-Ex. He was extremely helpful. He led us with his Fed-Ex vehicle to the tire repair shop, and also told us what tires had helped him when he was having trouble with blow outs on his trailer. The tire repair guy stayed late and replaced all four of my trailer tires for me. Amazing, isn’t it!
I could have refused the assistance at any point in time but I didn’t. I could have said, “No thanks, I don’t want the number…the directions…the water…the information…the help…the assistance…I don’t want to inconvenience you…I don’t want to be any trouble.” I could have not asked for help, broken down and cried (as I was seriously tempted to do) or ignored the advice.
Why did I ask and accept the help? To be honest I don’t know why but it seemed that the universe was conspiring to help me, as much or more then it was conspiring to delay my journey. What I do know is that by staying present to what was being offered in the environment, and saying “yes” to it problems became resolved, forward movement was regained, and I was onto the next leg of my journey in a very short time. By surrendering to what was I kept moving forward to what could be. I could choose to be swept away by the flood, or grasp the hands that were offered me. This time I choose the magic of allowing what could be to happen.
Where are you not surrendering to what is? Where are you not accepting the help that is offered? Where are you refusing to slow down, and allow the magic to work in your life?