Being Stuck and Something You can Count On

Yesterday I was trapped in an elevator.  For a long time.  All by myself.  And firemen had to rescue me.

Any amount of time feels long when you’re stuck.

After my initial panic… I saw a button that said HELP!  I pushed it.

A nice lady (probably talking to me from India) answered and said she was with the elevator company.  In what seemed like something from Candid Camera, she instructed me first to hold down one button for thirty seconds, then push every single button I could see, and then push the alarm bell button every thirty seconds.

I did.

Nothing happened.

I fully expected her to tell me to jump up and down next.

The nice lady, who I still think was in India, kept asking me if I was breathing ok which made me begin to think perhaps I wasn’t.

She told me she was going to have to hang up on me to call some other people – 911 among others – and was that OK ?  Hmmm… Do I have other options?

After I realized how stuck and helpless I was and that my cell phone didn’t work and that the walls were starting to close in, I gave myself a little pep talk and started thinking about other things…

This is like that scene in “You’ve Got Mail!”  They all talk about what they’ll do differently IF they ever get out of the elevator.  What will I do if I get out?  Why am I thinking IF?

Why couldn’t I have other people in here to keep me company and have a little stuck-elevator-party with?

What if they tell me I have to put my beach towel over my head and crouch in the corner so they can blow the door off with explosives?  (Clearly I’ve seen too many episodes of 24)

Is this a metaphor for being stuck in life?  Who was “stuck” in the Bible…?  David!  After he’s anointed and before he’s king and Saul’s all jealous crazy.  Moses!  In the wilderness!  Noah on the ark!  Joseph, Paul, John the Baptist in jail!  Is there anyone in the Bible who wasn’t stuck at some point???

God what do you want to say to me? “Take the STAIRS next time!”?

I wonder if the firemen will be cute and how disappointed will they be that it’s little ol’ me and not my daughters?

Eventually I started singing softly “Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me.”  I have no idea why.

About 45 minutes later, after a lot of noise, but no explosives, the doors to the elevator were slowly pried open and there stood two firemen in full gear with the overall/boot deals and hats on, axes in hand staring at me.  Yes they were “hot”, and yes it was embarrassing.

Whether it’s getting stuck alone in your flip flops in an elevator, or getting stuck in a season of life, my take away is:

  • Keep your sense of humor
  • assess the situation
  • do what you can
  • pray
  • and wait.  For God (and/or the cute firemen) to get you unstuck.

And mostly, remember what you can count on.

The sun’s gonna rise, the sun’s gonna set and God is still going to be God.

Where are you feeling stuck?  What’s an adventure you’ve had where you’ve been able to laugh along with God?

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