We are starting to get into the rainy season in this area of Liberia. In many ways it has been a welcome relief from the dry and dusty days that we have experienced for quite some time. No doubt that a few months down the road we will be longing for a dry spell… Funny how life is like that, so easy for us to live for tomorrow rather than enjoy what we have today.
There has been a lot of windshield time for us over the past few weeks. Most of it relates in one way or another to taking care of or moving missionaries. We really enjoy the time that we have with them. One such occasion recently occurred after a fairly heavy rain. After considerable time inching our way in heavy traffic, we found what the source of the problem was – a pothole. Not just any pothole mind you, this one stretched across the entire road, and in places was probably six to eight inches deep (it was difficult to judge because the hole was full of water). At this location the road is wide enough for between four and six vehicles, depending on their size, and traffic going in our direction was being forced into a single lane by on-coming traffic which was using the balance of the roadway. It was interesting to watch how people approached the pothole. Some were quite cavalier (which frequently ended in near disaster…), while most went fairly slowly over the edge and into the unknown. Many followed the vehicle in front of it. In the former category was a pickup truck that tried to steer wide to avoid the hole. Unfortunately for him, he found out the hard way that there was a deep open drain channel on the side of the road that was hidden under the muddy water. There was quite a crowd of people that were trying to lift up the front end of the truck to get the wheel back on the road. In a similar vein, a motorcycle taxi and his passenger found out what happens when the front wheel drops into a hole and suddenly stops moving. Fortunately for them the semi that they had just cut in front of was not moving quickly and was able to stop…
As you can imagine, traffic was backed up for a long way in both directions, with this being the main road connecting a large portion of the region to the central part of Monrovia. From what we understand, the pothole had been there for quite a while, so those that used the road on a daily basis would have had long delays in both directions. It reminds me of a poem attributed to Benjamin Franklin:
“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of the rider the battle was lost,
For the want of the battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.”
Had the pothole been taken care of before the rain, there would not have been the long lines and seemingly endless time lost by those in them. Has great application to our lives. If we tend to issues, apologize quickly, procrastinate our procrastination, etc. we will be able to avoid many of the self-dug pits we seem to fall into. The experience also points to the need to be very aware of who we are following, and similarly, who is following in our footsteps. Is the path we are on leading to where we want to go? Is it a path that we would want others to follow us on? If the answer to either or both of these is no, the time to make a change is now. Life is too short to waste time going in the wrong direction. Such change may be hard, will likely require work/effort on our part but so very worth it!
We hope all is well with you. We are still busy and Loving Liberia…