The Right Place, The Right Time, The Right Thing — Story 1

rightplacetimethingI was waiting in the parking lot of the local grocery store in Ozumba, Mexico, for several of the grandchildren to return from their shopping in the nearby open air market. An elderly man came up to me carrying a set of what appeared to be new jumper cables with which you can start a car with a dead battery when connected to a car with a good battery.

I thought he was just another of the countless vendors that approach you here in Mexico. But then one of the parking lot attendants (the guys who blow their whistles to help you back out of a parking space and who you then tip 3 or 5 pesos) motioned to a nearby car. Now I understood; the elderly man needed a jump.

I pulled my vehicle alongside his. We both raised our hoods. Our batteries were on opposite sides and the cables wouldn’t reach that far. The parking attendant tried to explain something to me. I didn’t understand. He pulled out his cell phone, typed something, then showed me the screen. He had a translation program and it said “reverse.” Oh! He wanted me to back in next to the guy’s car, but then the distance would be even greater between our batteries. Though I failed to see the logic of the request, I dutifully obliged. The next thing I saw was the elderly man getting behind his steering wheel while his wife and the parking guy started pushing the car backward from the front of the car. Ah, yes, there was a good reason for the parking guy’s suggestion; I quickly joined them in the pushing.

We got the two batteries close enough and connected them. I motioned for the wife to hold up the hood of my vehicle (it won’t stay up on its own) while I got in the driver’s seat and revved the engine. Wola! Their car started. The wife tried to give me a crumpled bill, but I declined. She said “gracias” and they climbed into their car and drove off.

I told our grandchildren later at dinner (using the event as a teachable moment) that I had been

in the right place

at the right time

to do the right thing.

It was a good reminder for me, too, that through every day in so many ways God provides numerous opportunities to carry out His purposes. What a wonderfully meaningful way to live, to know that if we are open to God’s leading He will place us, over and over again,

in the right place,

at the right time,

to do the right thing!

“Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.” (Psalm 119:35)


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