“Who would like to go to town with me tomorrow afternoon?” asked Mrs. Reid, one winter afternoon.
Grace looked up from her English lesson and the essay she was writing. “What are you going to town for?”
“I’m going grocery shopping, and I thought we could go to a couple of antique stores while we’re at it.”
“I’d like to go,” Faith said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve gone to an antique store.”
Just then Hope came into the dining-room. Her face was bright with excitement. “Mom, could we go to the cafe downtown? I still have the gift card for there that Becky gave me for my birthday.”
Mrs. Reid smiled. “I think that could be arranged. After we’re done shopping, we can go there for coffee and pastries.”
“I want to go then if it’s more than just grocery shopping,” Grace decided.
“Alright, we’ll have a girls’ outing then. You girls will need to have your school done by noon tomorrow.”
Grace picked up her pencil and began scribbling away. “I’ll work ahead today, so I’m done in time.”
Motivation flowed for Grace and Faith for the rest of the afternoon. They studiously worked on the next day’s assignments, and when it came time to quit and set the table for supper, Grace announced, “I got all my math done for tomorrow.”
“Me too,” said Faith. “And some of my geography.”
Before bed that night, Grace picked out her outfit for the next day’s outing. She selected her favorite pink sweater and a black skirt with white polka dots. Then she set out her pair of black boots.
Her last thoughts as she fell asleep were, “I can’t wait for tomorrow.”
The sky was just beginning to grow light when footsteps and low voices disturbed Grace’s sleep. Not an early riser, she rolled over and went back to sleep, wondering who was up and about. The ones who did get up early, Mom, Dad, and Hope, were usually quiet so as not to disturb the sleepers.
It was a little while later that Grace headed downstairs, dressed and ready for the day. On her way to the kitchen, she looked into the living-room. Then she stopped.
Mr. Reid sat in his big recliner talking on the phone. Why wasn’t he at work?
Grace continued on to the kitchen. There she found Mrs. Reid frying pancakes. “Is Dad sick? Why isn’t he at work?” Grace immediately asked her.
Mrs. Reid flipped the pancakes on the griddle before answering. “It rained in the night and then froze, so everything is a sheet of ice outside.”
Going to the window, Grace looked out. The grass was frosty white. The tree branches hung low, weighted down by the many icicles and frozen water droplets that clung to them. As her mother continued talking, Grace pulled her attention away from the scene outdoors.
“Dad was on his way to work this morning when the car hit a patch of ice and slid off the road into the ditch.”
Faith, who had just come into the kitchen, cried, “Daddy wasn’t hurt, was he?” Her brown eyes were large and worried.
“No, he’s fine,” Mrs. Reid assured her. “The car is too. Dad called home, and I woke Sam up to take the truck to pull him out.”
Grace remembered the voices she had heard earlier that morning. That must have been Mom waking Samuel. Well, at least Dad was okay.
Breakfast was more lively than usual, with Mr. Reid, who had the day off work because of the road conditions, telling them all about his early morning ditch experience. Joseph was disappointed he hadn’t gotten to go along for the rescue.
After breakfast, as Grace was helping Hope to load the dishwasher, she began thinking about their plans for the day. Suddenly a terrible thought struck her: what about their shopping trip?
“Hope, will we still get to go to town today?” she asked.
“I don’t know. Not unless the ice on the road thaws.”
This was not the answer Grace had wanted to hear. She quickly looked out the window and up at the sky, hoping to see bright sunshine. Instead, she saw thick gray clouds that showed no sign of breaking up. In fact, it looked like it might rain again.
It was just after history class that Mrs. Reid made the dreaded announcement. “We’ll have to postpone our trip to town until the weather clears.”
Grace didn’t say anything, but her disappointment showed. So did Faith’s.
“As soon as the roads have thawed, we’ll go,” Mrs. Reid assured them.
Looking down at her next assignment, Grace tried to ignore the letdown feeling inside her. She had been looking forward to this outing so much.
Faith’s voice broke into her thoughts. “Well, this sure is a fitting verse in my Bible class.”
“What is it?” Grace wondered.
“it’s James 4:13-15.” Faith read the verses aloud. “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”
“That does apply to us,” agreed Grace. “We didn’t know how today would go, but God did. It must not have been His timing for us to make this trip. Those verses remind me of the verse in Proverbs that says, ‘Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.’”
“Maybe we were too focused on the trip to town and weren’t thinking about what God’s will for our day was,” Faith concluded. Then she added, “Well, since we still have a lot of today’s schoolwork done, maybe we can do something fun this afternoon.”
“Good idea, Faith. Let’s get finished, and then we can decide what we’ll do.”