One large passenger car with Texas plates
One GPS locator with construction site issues
Five out of state women—
A Californian at the wheel
A Canadian riding shotgun
Three backseat drivers—
One from Michigan
Another from Connecticut
And a third from Oregon
One confusing MapQuest map
Add a pressure cooker of the following:
A second car of women already on their way
A reservation at a restaurant in the historic district of Dallas called Grapevine Mills
A bridge scheduled to be blown up early in the evening, necessitating an earlier than anticipated return to the hotel.
When you finish, you’ll have an exciting Friday evening of fun in Dallas, Texas at the American Christian Fiction Writers’ conference last weekend.
Like a frightened pony at the starting gate, the GPS locator returned our car to the hotel three times. When finally we hit the freeway, the GPS estimated destination time had increased from seventeen minutes to forty. The GPS insisted we make a U-turn in the middle of the freeway—a maneuver legal in Texas, but not where I come from.
After finding ourselves in Coppell (Ka-pell) which appeared several miles to the north on our MapQuest map, we knew that we had strayed from our appointed destination.
California, our driver who remained cool, calm and collected throughout the experience, decided to ignore the GPS and use her own instincts to find the place. Michigan was now wishing she’d dined at the hotel. Connecticut was praying that the Lord would protect and preserve us, and Oregon was praying for a sign—a big green one along the side of the freeway with the words Grapevine Mills printed on it.
Meanwhile, the other party had reached the restaurant and telephoned us to see where we were. We didn’t know.
We wandered through residential streets with our nose pointed toward the airport, reading markers like watering holes. We could see the planes coming and going, which served as our direction finder. We could also see the Mall we sought sitting on the other side of the freeway. The sign I’d prayed for appeared—Grapevine Mall next exit. After a couple of sharp lefts and a right, we arrived.
Our waiter, Casey, grinned at us like a Cheshire cat with a secret and asked us where we’d been. When he heard our journey, he told us we’d definitely been lost. But after serving our food, he asked if we needed anything else. We told him we needed to pray—he offered to do that.
“I’m a man of God, ladies. I’d be happy to pray for you.” A recent graduate of Teen Challenge, Casey told us how God had rescued him out of a dismal life. With that, he prayed, an eloquent petition of thanks for our safe arrival, prayer for our return trip and a blessing on our evening together.
We were so blessed, we didn’t need dessert.
Philippians 4:19 (NKJV) “And my Lord shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
And the blown-up bridge? Nothing we couldn’t handle now.
More Dallas to come in future posts.