The Missed Attraction

Prince Rupert

It's frightening how upset we can get with ourselves over minor details. As I was driving towards Prince Rupert in Northern B.C, I was on the lookout for the Kitwanga Fort National Historic Site, locally known as "Battle Hill". It was also the former site of the Gitksan fortress, which fell under the attack of invading clans, and most importantly, it was high up on my kids' "want to do" list for Northern B.C.

As our desired destination drew near, I watched attentively for signs to this Historical site, but to no avail. I knew we had to be near Kitwanga, but there weren't even any indications on the road for the town itself. Suddenly I noticed a large Petro-Canada gas station on my right, and I pulled in to fill the tank.

I couldn't help but wonder why such a large gas station would be located out here in the middle of nowhere, but with a tank full of gas, we were soon back on the road, searching for our desired attraction. Half an hour went by before we finally clued in that we had missed the cut-off.

The only thing we could figure was that the Petro-Canada must have marked the street we should have turned on. We could have turned around of course, but then we would add an extra hour to our driving time, and we would risk not having the time to explore all of Prince Rupert, as our ferry for Alaska would be leaving early the next morning.

After a somewhat heated discussion with my family, we all opted to not turn back. Actually, my family was very forgiving, and the "heated" part of the discussion was simply a result of me being unable to forgive myself! I felt like a total failure. Why hadn't I taken the time to ask the gas attendant for directions? (It is true that we men tend to dislike asking for directions . . . It must have something to do with our genes!) Why had I not been more vigilant in watching for signs? Now I was a disappointment to my kids and to my wife.

As I was kicking myself for my stupidity, a verse came to mind: "Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Eph 5:19-20 NIV)

"But Lord, how can I do this right now? I am still fuming about my stupid mistake."

The answer was clear: "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 4:11 NIV)

With the strength God provided me, I began thanking Him, and claiming the promise that somehow it would all turn out for the best. As I did so, I felt a huge burden fall from my shoulders and I was completely at peace.

How easy it is to stay focused and at peace if we depend solely on God and not on ourselves! If we let circumstances start to dictate our lives however, misery invades and consumes us.

May we learn to always depend on God's strength and to thank Him continuously for everything. Even the bad stuff! Only then will we constantly remain at peace. Only then will we be a sweet aroma to God and to those around us.

Have you missed anything lately? Thank God wholeheartedly.

Don't have the strength to do so? He'll give it to you! You'll be amazed what a difference this will make in your life!

P. S. As it was, we barely had time to explore Prince Rupert. If we had found the attraction in question, we would have had a different dilemma to face!

Rob Chaffart

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