What I did on my vacation: The Exploding Jacuzzi

That’s right—an exploding Jacuzzi.

Sharon and I were on vacation, a week that included 2200 miles behind the wheel of a car. The trip was a necessary one, to take care of some family business. As vacations go, it was the sort of vacation where you go back to work just so you can rest up a little.

We were rolling down the interstate, somewhere in Kentucky, when we decided that it was time to stop for the night. We spotted a sign for one of the national motel chains, looked it up in the chain’s handy reference book, and decided that it was way too expensive. Then, we pulled off at the exit anyway—it was too late, and we were too tired, to bargain hunt. At the end of the exit ramp was a homemade sign advertising a brand new “national chain” motel that had just opened. Thinking that the rate certainly wouldn’t be any higher, and the room might be a bit nicer, we decided to try the new guys.

It really was a new place, only open for a couple of weeks, and with finishing touches still in progress. Apparently the owners needed to invest in some better signs and advertising, because the parking lot wasn’t all that crowded, in spite of rates that were very competitive. After a few minutes of light chit-chat with the girl at the registration desk, we ended up being the very first guest in one of the nicest rooms in the house—complete with king size bed and a Jacuzzi—for about the same rate as the guys down the street were offering for older rooms with double beds.

We were excited about the special blessing of a Jacuzzi. After 5 days of traveling, we were both stiff, sore, and road-weary. The idea of stretching out in a gorgeous new Jacuzzi-for-two was so attractive that we could hardly wait. While I was getting settled in and checking up on email, Sharon drew up a nice, warm tub and prepared for a nice, relaxing “Jacuzz.” Everything was fine, until she reached over and turned on the pumps. Suddenly, there were two loud, high-force streams of water shooting out of the Jacuzzi and spraying the whole room—walls, bed, luggage, map book, virtually everything within ten feet of the tub were being soaked, as my panicked wife tried to figure out how to shut the stupid thing off. Somehow, this didn’t seem to be the sort of relaxation we had in mind!

When the unexpected showers stopped, we found that someone had left the spray jets pointed UP instead of DOWN, causing them to spray the room instead of their normal job. About ten towels later, most of the mess was cleaned up, everything we had with us was set out to dry, and Sharon bravely tried again—this time, with much more success.

Incidents like the “exploding Jacuzzi” are a fact of life. Sometimes, things just don’t go the way you had them planned. One of the most important life skills we can learn is the ability to “roll with the punches” when things don’t go as expected. Throughout the accounts of Paul’s early missionary trips, found in the book of Acts, we find Paul in unexpected situations. As they traveled, and sought to follow a very logical route, The Holy Spirit intervened and redirected them. Paul went through beatings, was left for dead, went through a shipwreck, was bitten by a poisonous viper, and spent a good part of his ministry in custody. If Paul had focused on his thwarted plans and directives, he could have found himself a bitter, disenchanted old man. Instead, he “rolled with the punches” and dedicated his life to delivering the Good News to whomever God brought across his path, regardless of where that path may lead.

There’s no record of Paul experiencing an exploding Jacuzzi, but I think he would probably done just what we did—after the initial shock passed, we looked at each other, and burst into laughter. We needed that laugh—it was one of the best stress relief moments in the trip. After a good laugh, we cleaned up the mess and kept right on with the agenda. Our sovereign God has a purpose for everything—even an exploding Jacuzzi.

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