Something wholly incredible happened on our return from the Alaskan Wildlife Conservation Area:
We were driving back the same stretch of winding road to return to Anchorage, still captivated by the views parallel to us. At one point, a patch of mountains visible across the water really caught my eye, it’s ridges back lit by a patch of light that had broken through the grey skies. The mountains themselves were bright and illuminated. They looked like clouds that had settled atop the water. I was struck with the urge to pull over and photograph this sight – although unfortunately – the pictures didn’t quite capture the scene as I had desired. Disgruntled, I climbed back in the car and placed the key in the ignition.
I turned it once: there was a light whirring, but the engine didn’t start. Dread settled in the pit of my stomach. I turned it again: the whirring once more, but no spark. I glanced over at Megan in distress. Megan shot back an equally alarming look. I tried the key one more time: nothing.
Immediately my brain became overrun with thoughts: I have AAA, but does it work in Alaska? How fast can a tow truck get to a remote location? IN ALASKA? Were we going to miss our flight? Did we call the rental car agency and explain? Could they get us on another flight? Could we leave the car and catch a cab? Did they have cabs here? I was panicking internally when Megan asked: “Do you want me to try?”
What the hell, I thought, as I turned the keys over to her and exited the drivers side of the car. Megan and I traded seats and she slid the key in, paused for a moment with her eyes shut, and then twisted her wrist. Miraculously, the engine purred to a start and I looked at her in an impressive shock.
“What did you do?!”
She shrugged. “I put the key in the ignition, I prayed, and then I tried it.”
This powerful notion stuck with me as we traded seats back and I resumed the drive back to Anchorage. I couldn’t help feeling slightly dejected with myself for letting the panic overtake me instead of offering it up to God, as Megan so easily had. But boy was I glad of the outcome of her faith. She had so casually offered a solution when I hadn’t even thought of it as an option. It baffled me, and shook my idea of problem-solving strategies a little bit.
Henceforth, in any situation where I have found myself struggling, I think back to this encounter. Usually if I believe I have exhausted all resources, I haven’t tried praying yet. In this fashion, I’ve typically found that the simplest solution to any great problem is just turning it over to God.