All I can say was that panic set in and I was not prepared for the scenario in front of me. The whole family was on an adventure in the back hills of Homer a couple of years ago, riding two four-wheelers. Jamin, my husband, had the two boys on his machine leading the way, and I had the two girls and our rifle in the guncase attached to my machine. The trail was narrow as we ascended the hill and the grasses were so tall on either side that they almost towered over us as we sat on our machines.
Did I mention that it was raining? Not just raining, it was pouring! We were all bundled in rain gear and the more we traveled we hoped that our ride would outlast the precipitation. My rain jacket in particular was rather oversized which worked well to cover me.
We were near the top of the hill when we spotted them…a mother brown bear with two large cubs. Standing on her hind legs to get a better look at us, Jamin and I got all the view of her we needed. Up to this point the kids did not see her as they were keeping their heads down to shield themselves from the rain. Jamin turned around to me and asked “Do you see what I see?” I nodded in affirmation and then the panic set in. “Back up!” Jamin yelled to me.
Quickly I turned my head to look behind me and navigate the descending trail, only to find myself looking at the inside of my rain hood. I yanked my rain hood down, put the four-wheeler in reverse and attempted again to look behind me. I wasn’t moving fast enough for Jamin who was already connecting to my front grill as he attempted the retreat. I hit the throttle and began backing up without a plan.
The thoughts ran through my mind rather quickly, “How far should I back up?” “Should I find a place off the trail to turn around?” “Should I somehow get the gun out of the case and have it ready?” “Is the bear coming after us?” “What will I do if she is?” “How do I protect the kids?”
I backed up haphazardly driving the wheels on the right side of my machine onto high ground while the wheels on the left stayed on the lower ground…causing a tipping effect. This is when the girls began to panic and I had to just stop, get off and get the girls off to right the machine. It all happened so quickly.
Thankfully the bear and her cubs moved on without pursuing us and we were able to continue our journey after giving them plenty of time to move on. For the next six miles my daughter Bethany vibrated with fear and I did my best to calm her and tell her we were going to be fine. Inside I was vibrating too!
No matter how much you prepare for in life, there are those moments that catch you off guard. Suddenly everything you learned or failed to learn collides in your mind and panic sets in. That’s how I can categorize my life lately…viewed through the inside of a rain hood. Just when I thought I was moving quick with instincts I find I am not seeing the path I need to take. The view is instead oddly dark and smells a little musty, and I am afraid!
So, today I am leaning on Grace. Grace to get me past my haphazard responses to a place of peace. Grace to remind me once again that:
2 Timothy 1:7
7For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
13 For I am the LORD, your God,
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.
3 But you are a shield around me, O LORD;
you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
4 To the LORD I cry aloud,
and he answers me from his holy hill.
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.
I’m glad God can find me inside of my rain gear…