A friend of mine and I made the trek to North Georgia to see the total solar eclipse. It was amazing. Sitting in a field of sunshine, surrounded by the green lush mountains of North Georgia, listening to a musician and visiting with friends- though we had some clouds covering up the Big Event, we still had a perfect view most of the time, and the clouds parted just in time for us to be able to view the total eclipse. Just perfect.
Then we got in the car to drive home. It’s usually a four hour trip at the most. But we immediately got trapped on a series of two lane roads through the mountains that looked like this:
This allowed us to travel thirty miles in about 5 hours (it took us about 10 hours to get all the way home). It was soul crushing! I tried to make the best of the impromptu camp-outs by rolling down the windows to listen to the breeze, the birds and crickets, the running water when we passed near streams and creeks.
Thankfully, we did not have any calamities in our vehicle. Someone broke down in front of us, so we had to wait for the wrecker to haul them out. There were way too many people that had to resort to Nature’s Restroom along the way (some of them clearly over-estimating the privacy that the foliage provided…)- fortunately our bladders held out for the duration! It was exhausting and stressful, and I spent many hours praying for a miracle.
Then we turned a corner. Thankfully, a kind stranger allowed us to turn into the long line of cars at an intersection where we needed to make a left hand turn. As we were creeping along, we noticed some teenagers standing in a driveway. It had become a common sight to see the locals sitting in lawn chairs watching the traffic pile by, so it wasn’t unusual to see these kids hanging out enjoying the “fun.” It was unusual that one of the guys had a guitar, and that another one approached our car.
There was a woodworking shop nearby, so my friend made the comment, “They are trying to sell stuff.” This was also kind of common, as we saw lots of signs along the way of homeowners offering parking and bathrooms for anywhere from $5 to $20. This eclipse thing brought out the “entrepreneur spirit” in everyone!
But, no! This young man approached our vehicle and said, “Hey, we’re giving some stuff away. Would you like to have this?”
I was so desperate for something good in my life at that moment that I started to thank him immediately.
My friend, the rational one, asks, “Why are you doing that?”
To which the young man replies, “Because there doesn’t seem to be anything better to do.”
And he hands us this, then, as traffic was starting to move, he heads to the car behind us calling out, “Hey, do you want a bunny?” (it was a wooden bunny), as his friend with the guitar calls out an adamant “God bless y’all!”:
Look- this kid made my day! Oh, the eclipse, looking at what God can do in the heavens- making something that’s dang near scientifically impossible possible, that just takes your breath away and fills you with as much amazement as you can fathom of Him.
But the amazing things He does most often happens through His people, just doing radical and bold things like giving away stuff to strangers stuck in traffic.
There is nothing like the hospitality of the people in North Georgia. They put up with tourists like us year-round with gracious acceptance and a helpful spirit. But the enthusiasm of these kids to make people happy just went the second mile.
I sure hope I get the chance one day to tell those kids what that meant to me.