A Thorn in the…tire

20160402_173504The Apostle Paul spoke of his “thorn in the flesh” more than once in his epistles.  Biblical scholars on medical professions have speculated that he suffered from a disease similar to glaucoma. The condition gave him such discomfort and, he beliwved, held him back in his evangelistic work that he prayed 3 times.

Contrast that to our prayer practice of asking continually hoping that we’ll wear G-d down to the point He will acquiesce to our request. In the end Paul says that G-d told him, “My grace is sufficient for you.” In the end Paul understood that G-d had reasons.

One the road yesterday I was forced to slow down by, of all things, a thorn.  I started noticing the rear tire feeling a little under inflated in  Ventura but a visual inspection revealed nothing.  Several miles later, however, it was signifantly flat.  As I was pushing to get to my cousins home in Santa Barbara by dinner, I simply used my handy dandy inflation tool powered by a CO2 cartridge and proceeded onward.

A miles later, I was flat again.  Less time now to change a tube, so I grabbed another CO2 cartridge and filled it again.  As the miles rolled on the more panicked I became about being late.  The words of my grandmother, Nora Denlinger Hammond, echoed in my head, “The hurried I go, the behinder I get. ”

In the end I had to admit defeat.  I’d run out of time and run out of CO2 cartridges.  I had to let Greg and Kathy come rescue me. We had a lovely dinner, and a nice visit and I was able to repair the tire the next morning.  I finally found the culprit – a very tiny thorn embedded in the tire.

What I thought was a thorn in the flesh turned out to be a means of G-d’s grace.  Having to learn to slow down has allowed me to spend time with Christine Found-Jackson – my dear friend John’s widow – and to connect family – Greg and Kathy and their son Steven.

I’ve been praying for fewer headaches, fewer problems on this trip, but G-d has a way of revealing that His grace is sufficient.

Christine and I, with John’s daughter Wendy and grandson Simon, at Pt. Mugu.
Kathy, Gregg and I 



Author: pastortoddhammond

I have been a parish minister nearly 30 years and have had the privilege of pastoring from Maine to California. I began serving the Agape Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the end of 2014.

2 thoughts on “A Thorn in the…tire”

  1. Just thought I’d let you know…I got my copies of THE SEA-GOING COWBOYS last week. A book signing is planned for April 16th at Canterbury Lower School, FW….am going to it to get books autographed by author and illustrator.
    Would like to share the book via Children’s Story on a future Sunday!
    Stay away from pointy objects and keep the wind to your back!
    Rose Eastes


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