I sulked my way across the Arizona desert. Unshed tears of self-pity threatened to come to the surface, so I pressed my face against the window, ignoring everyone in the car. I didn’t want to cry, but it just wasn’t fair…The car was very quiet.
We had been on a family vacation to the Grand Canyon and to a Giants’ spring training game. And now we were going home, but I wasn’t quite ready to get back on a schedule.
It had been a lovely, meandering sort of trip with no time constraints, except getting to the baseball game before the first pitch.
We were on the highway heading toward Kingman Arizona, where the travel book told us there was a motel with an indoor swimming pool. We had all agreed that that would be a perfect grand finale for our vacation.
Then I saw the sign: London Bridge 17 miles – “The London Bridge is right here in Arizona!” I was so excited that every fiber of my history-loving-being began to jump up and down. “It’s only 17 miles down that road…”
The London Bridge, swathed in romantic stories and English elegance…If there was ever a made-to-order call for spontaneity this was it!
Tomorrow we’d be back to our normally scheduled life. What possible difference could it make if we got to the Kingman motel a few hours later than we’d planned?
John was very understanding, but very firm. He did not want to take the time to drive out of our way to see the London Bridge. We were now on a schedule. And besides, we didn’t know what time the pool at the motel closed. “We’ll come back another time,” he promised. I know he meant it, but really, what were the odds that we would ever again be on this particular highway at this particular turn-off?
So I sulked, miserable…knowing I was being a brat, and that knowledge making me more miserable. I couldn’t get on top of it. The miles passed and the black desert night descended on us. John stopped the car (spontaneously) so we could all get out and look at the skyful of brilliant pulsing stars. We never see stars like that where we live.
I tilted my head back and gazed up, swallowed by Enormity. Perspective began to ooze in, and sooth away my sulkiness and misery. “How Great Thou Art!” Miles earlier I had begun to realize my selfish attitude was putting a wet blanket on this last day of our idyllic family vacation, but now I was able to become centered and properly focused. “Thy will be done.”
Before long we arrived at the motel in Kingman, and although I was still a bit embarrassed about my long case of the sulks, I was almost back to my normal fun-loving self, and we had a happy and memorable family evening.
And now for The Rest of the Story: About a year later my parents moved to Lake Havasu City, home of The London Bridge. Yes, the very town to which that 17 mile side road led.
Needless to say, we have now been to The London Bridge – dozens of times. More times than I can count. We have eaten at London Bridge Restaurants, toured the London Bridge Visitors’ Center and purchased post cards and souvenirs from the little shops under The London Bridge. I have seen enough of the London Bridge to last me the rest of my life.
I try to remember this lesson when I get my eyes too firmly set on myself and what I want. I can trust my plans and hopes and dreams – and even my disappointments, to God. He has perfect timing, and he has plans we can’t even begin to imagine.
“…the bridge was taken apart, each piece was numbered to aid re-assembly. The bridge was reconstructed in Lake Havasu City, and re-dedicated on 10 October 1971. The reconstruction of Rennie’s London Bridge spans the Bridgewater Channel canal that leads from Lake Havasu to Thomson Bay.” http://www.golakehavasu.com/history-of-london-bridge.html
May 16, 2011 at 9:02 am
We went there one vacation and I know I enjoyed it and I think everyone else did too. Of course, the main trip was for golf but my hubby did add this in for me.
May 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm
My mom lives right up the hill from that beautiful golf course in Lake Havasu. We pass it all the time.
March 6, 2012 at 9:27 am
We have seen the London Bridge two times. Once in London and once in Arizona before the water area was there.
Thank you for your interesting story about your experiences with the Bridge.
March 6, 2012 at 9:51 am
Wow – That must have been an interesting deja vu, Betty, to see it rebuilt in the desert.
March 2, 2013 at 12:14 pm
I love this. Such a valuable lesson to learn. When God says “no” He sometimes means “not now”. We can trust Him.