June 8, 2012

On Elevators and [finding hope in] Unexpected Adventures.

A screenshot from a "last words" video
we made while we were stuck in the elevator. 

I checked something off my bucket list yesterday: get stuck in elevator. (Subsequently, this takes care of No. 22 on my 25 before 25 list.)

Of course, it didn’t happen exactly as I planned. Zac Efron was supposed to be there, but he missed his opportunity. Oh well.

Eva and I had just returned from a LONG bike ride along the river. We had forgotten water so we were dying of thirst. The apartment we live in is on floor 4 (which is actually the 5th floor), and at floor 3, the elevator stopped.

No loud banging sound. No jolting. It just stopped.

One moment we were on our way home for some water and leftover pineapple whip. The next moment we were stuck without a time frame of hope for when we’d next taste water.

After a few minutes of figuring out how to use the call for help button, we were connected with a lovely French lady who promised that a technician would be around in oh…an HOUR or so.

We texted Eva’s mom who called down the elevator shaft to make sure we were still breathing, and should she call the firemen? We assured her that someone was on the way, and yes we had plenty of oxygen (but could you somehow send us water?).

We sat, which turned to slouching, which ended in lying on the ground; our heads propped up on our purses. It smelled funny, which could have been from our post-bike ride state or the unknown number of feet that have stood on the elevator’s floor since its last cleaning.

We laughed because we didn’t have the two necessities we normally have with us: water and the Bible. So rather than drink water (living or not), we found other ways to pass the time.

We sang some songs. (For some reason Veggie Tales and the Sound of Music were stuck in my head.) We played that game where each person adds a new line to a story that you create together. (The first story was about a dog who gets stuck in an elevator (I wonder where we came up with that idea?), and one story was about an ant who starts a multicolored wig business. Creativity at it’s finest!) We thought up ways to get out of the elevator, but ended up heeding the advice of the French lady on the other end of the intercom: “Don’t try and fix the elevator on your own.”

An hour later, almost to the minute, we heard a man’s voice, and we replied that, “Yes, we are still in here.” A few minutes later the doors popped open and we had to jump a couple feet out of the elevator to the floor, but hey, at least we were saved.

Getting stuck in an elevator happened the way a lot great things in life happen: unexpectedly and unplanned. 

We can spend hours and days and years planning out how our lives can be the best adventures possible, but sometimes the best things can’t be predetermined. Things like falling in love, meeting a kindred spirit, stumbling upon a brilliant new culinary concoction in your kitchen, finding a beautiful hidden secret place along a river, getting stuck in an elevator; these things can’t be planned.

One of the girls here has been asking me a lot about how we hear from God. I think part of the problem is our desire to want to plan everything; to have a formula for how things will happen; to want to work out everything ahead of time. But God doesn’t work according to our plans, he isn’t a genie waiting for us to use the right magic formula, and sometimes the answer is simply “wait and obey,” instead of something clear and concrete.

But if our hope is for the best, and I believe he has the best things for us, what is unplanned, unexpected, and surprisingly will be greater than any adventure we could arrange on our own. 

1 comment:

  1. I got stuck in an elevator when I was 10 :D quite an experience. My parents bought me a cell phone after that to be in touch:D