I sit at a bench facing the Neuchâtel lake under a wingleaf soapberry tree whose leaves have gracefully turned gold and orange; a notebook opened on my lap and a pen in my hand.
My husband has taken the kids to buy some takeaway dinner to eat later by the lake. Now, I’m ready to enjoy this precious quiet moment.
We are at the end of our day trip. We drove about 2 hours from Geneva to Creux du Van in the canton of Neuchâtel. There, we took a pleasant hike full of spectacular sceneries despite the strong wind towards the end.
We surveyed the famous gigantic rock arena with a diameter of more than a kilometer formed by water and ice erosion millions of years. The impressive vertical cliffs of more than 160 m in height surrounded a deep valley crammed with vibrant autumn colors. We looked far and long into the valley, listening to the fog obscure outline of mountains spoke of an ancient creation mystery. The fresh air, the sound of the wind, the birds’ tweet, the smell of the dirt, and the grandeur and vivid colors before my eyes was exactly what I needed after weeks of full routines.
However, we nearly didn’t make it.
Right after we loaded the kids, snacks, and our backpacks into the car, we found one front tire was flat. Our excitement shrunk to deep disappointment while our toddler kept asking us why we were not driving. We’d carefully planned this trip for this school holiday week, and everyone was pumped up. Now, neither my husband nor I knew if we could make it.
I returned to the apartment to have a moment while my husband was calling the insurance company. I didn’t want us to spend this beautiful sunny autumn day without nature or family fun. We needed a plan B, a good one. I sat at my desk, cupped my face with my hands, told God my feelings, and asked Him for ideas and help. Since neither my husband nor I had the experience to know how long it takes to fix a flat tire (We should have googled it), I came up with the idea of renting a car.
It turned out, the mechanic that our insurance company sent repaired the tire in 20 mins, and we had to return the rental car my husband got a few minutes ago, which we never used, by still paying 80% of the rent—good news and bad news for us to choose to hang our feelings on. Though potentially 1.5 hours late, plan A was still available if we decide to stick to it.
And here I am, breathing in the crisp dusk above the peaceful lake mirroring the Alps and the sky with touches of rose, feeling so thankful that we chose to push through our morning obstacle, and with some tweaks, we made plan A work in the end.
Gazing into the quiet rosy dusk above the lake as if I’m savoring a final delightful desert from the feast of the day, I ask God for a word to remember with this moment. Then, I scribble down something inspired in my notebook: “Always choose to lean into God. Always choose hope and life. No matter how difficult the circumstances seem to be.” I’m glad to say it’s how we got to enjoy an extraordinary hike and scenery today—the way to a small win on the long journey of our life.
Dear friend, perhaps the circumstance you are in is way bigger and much more complex than a flat tire situation. However, we always get to choose the mindset and perspective of facing any difficulties and challenges life throws at us. I hope you’d be encouraged to choose to focus on the bright side and persevere with hope, no matter what you are facing.
Exciting news: I’m working on a guide to encourage and inspire you to live in abundance wherever you are. Stay tuned! 🙂