It’s been a while since I’ve written anything and as I look at my last entry it was at about the same time that things stopped going as smoothly as I would like for them to go. For starters, I developed a head cold. Just a minor nuisance, not enough to keep me down but enough to make me want to sleep an extra hour a night. That lasted about two weeks. As I got over my head cold, I developed a cough. Once again, this was a minor nuisance but around the same time I developed stomach pains. My personal diagnosis was and still is a muscle pull from the coughing. I went to the doctor yesterday after two weeks of having trouble. I was hoping for a muscle relaxer or even a diagnosis of something to do with my coughing and something to help me stop. Instead I’m going to be checked for gallstones beside the fact that I really don’t think that that is the problem. At the same time I was finishing up an online class. This wouldn’t have been a big deal except that the school was having a lot of technical difficulties. I’m the type of person who understands mistakes happen and that people are prone to error. However I also expect that if I’m paying good money for something, I ought to get what I paid for. When I pay $750 for an online class and there are 19 other students who paid that same money, I expect problems to be solved swiftly with no concern for the cost because this is what we have paid for. Instead of solutions, I only received excuses and apologies. Last week I had a meeting out of state and returned home Saturday night. On the way home I hit a chunk of rubber from a blown tire. It was small and innocuous. But it was enough to cause me to blow my tire on the highway. With my spare, I had to get off the highway and travel backroads the final 80 miles home because I couldn’t go over 50 mph. Within a mile of getting off the highway I got pulled over. The speed limit had dropped from 45 to 25 but I didn’t see any sign. Despite having never been pulled over in my life, I got a ticket instead of a warning – final cost $144. I don’t write any of this to complain or to receive sympathy. Instead it is a reminder that we all go through down seasons in life. Despite my frustrations in the past few weeks, things could be a lot worse. I was able to finish my class despite the fact that things weren’t working properly. Although I haven’t felt great for five weeks now, at no point have I felt terrible. And even though my flat tire ended up costing me a speeding ticket, I was able to safely get my car pulled off of the road. The shoulder was wide enough that I could actually pull over and replace the tire. Before I even had time to pray about it, someone else pulled off and helped me change my tire. And even my tire ended up being under warranty so it only cost me $15 for the wear that I already had on the tire. It’s easy to say that things could have been worse but that’s not even the case. God has been watching out for me even in the midst of my frustrating time. Being a Christian doesn’t always mean smooth sailing. What it does mean is that God will be with us during those rough times and that He won’t abandon us.