An Unexpected Road Trip Changed My Perspective on Life


My old 2002 Toyota had been an awesome car, but I knew this day was coming. My engine had stopped running; here I was, alone on the side of the road, three hours from my sister’s house as the sun began to set. I began to panic.

This was the last thing I needed. “How am I ever going to afford another car?” I thought to myself. I was a student with very little money coming in. I was already having a hard time paying rent and other bills.

After I calmed down and focused on the present situation, I called a tow truck and waited for my driver. When he arrived, I suddenly felt at ease. He was covered in tattoos, had a full beard and spoke like a sailor, but his eyes were gentle and there was something calming about his presence. It was all going to be okay.

As we drove the next few hours together, I asked him tons of questions about his job, family, and everything else I could think of. He told me that he had once gone to prison because he was unable to pay for a previous car that he had owned, and he was now doing everything in his power to prevent that type of situation from happening again. I found out that he was engaged and his fiancée was 8 months pregnant. He was excited to be a father, but also expressed concerns about finances. He also told me that his fiancée had several previous miscarriages and due to major complications with this pregnancy, she was now on bed rest.

My heart was elated for him and at the same time, I felt like I was suffering beside him. This self-described “country bumpkin” had been through a lot, nothing had been handed to him. But he just seemed grateful that he had work and was doing his best to provide for his family.

It’s interesting how much you can learn from another person if you just ask. Suddenly the present situation didn’t seem to be the disaster I thought it was. What had previously been a nightmare of an experience had turned into something so much more. Of course I still had to figure out what to do with my car, but I knew everything it was going to be okay. As he dropped me off at a repair shop, I thanked him and congratulated him on his engagement and the new life within the womb of fiancée.

Every day we have the opportunity to reach out and love whoever is placed in our lives. Life throws really tough things at us, but sometimes it’s in the most challenging circumstances when we feel the love and support from others the most.

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