We were four American college-aged students, in the town-center of a small city on the border of Mexico, with very little Spanish and… we couldn’t find the van.
The van… that we had borrowed.
The van… that we had parked near McDonald’s.
The van… that was now, no where to be seen.
What do you do when your van has vanished?
None of us had any experience in this kind of thing happening before…
Are we sure this is where we parked it?
Was this a joke?
Could it have been stolen?
Perhaps… after all, we are in Mexico… and we are a bunch of gringos…
So, I did the only thing we could do, I called the owner of the van.
She was one of the main people who we worked with as we lead teams in building homes and running Summer School Clubs. It was her van that we had borrowed and so… I dialed her number and waited for the scream of frustration to come through on the other end…
“Hey, Anna. Ummm, we’ve run into a problem… we had parked at McDonald’s and then went down town and when we came back, the van was gone. What should we do?”
“Just wait inside, I’m on my way.”
Her voice, had a tinge of frustration that lingered at the end, but honestly, I was quite surprised by her reaction. I’m not quite sure, actually- I know, I would NOT have responded in the same way.
The four of us sat at the small table on the little circular seats awaiting the coming furry… we were supposed to be the responsible ones, we were supposed to be leaders, and… now the van was gone.
The silence in the car was thick with regret and questions, but we soon found ourselves walking into the local police station.
We had failed.
We had lost the van.
We felt doomed, frustrated, and stupid.
But in that completely self-loathing and frustrated moment my entire perspective changed dramatically.
Anna came over to the four of us sitting in the waiting room at the police station, and said, “Be praying, we are here for a purpose. We may be some of the only light, hope, and good news that some of these people ever see.”
Did I just hear her right?
She’s right… instead of having our eyes and thoughts and frustrations on ourselves… she helped us focus our attention to those around us.
Her main concern was not the van, but instead she was trusting God and being lead by Him. Knowing that He had a purpose even in this.
Even in our incredible silly mistake of parking in the McDonald’s Parking lot and NOT going in, but instead having the van towed away by the police…
She had an eternal perspective.
She had trust in God and in His bigger plans.
She knew how to live for Him in each moment of the day.
When I look back on life, I find this moment to be very pivotal in my thinking.
When I think of women who live for God, this moment puts Anna on my list.
Even though this was over 10 years ago…
I am still inspired when I think of her response and perspective…
I continue to desire to live with Anna’s Inspired Perspective as well.