Red Sky in Morning

“Ooh, Mama. Look at that pink sky,” my youngest pointed as we drove to school. “It’s so pretty.”

Immediately I was taken back to a conversation with my husband over a decade ago. “The sky is absolutely gorgeous this morning,” I told him, “I think I’m going to leave the top to my Jeep under the barn and enjoy the view on my way to my grandma’s today.”

“That’s a really bad idea,” my husband responded. “Haven’t you ever heard the old saying: Red sky in morning, sailor take warning, red sky at night, a sailor’s delight?”

“Nope. I haven’t. There’s no way rain is coming on a day like today. I’m going. And nothing will stop me from enjoying my day.”

“Alright, don’t say I didn’t warn you. You’re going to get wet.”

Knowing he was wrong, I took the top and doors off my Jeep and headed to Jasper. Whisps of pink, strokes of orange, all woven together with purples and yellow occupied my view. The air was a perfect temperature, and I knew it was going to be a fantastic day.

Until it wasn’t. As I ventured home after lunch, that gorgeous display of clouds turned into dark, maniacal puffs of disaster. Thunder boomed. Lightning flashed. A trickle of rain quickly turned into a torrential downpour. I leaned forward under the sun visor, desperate for any protection from the rain. Big, fat rain pelted me with no reprieve.

My eyes darted left and right at the properties along the road, hoping for a vacant carport or garage. But there was no place to go. Then my accelerator stopped engaging. I pushed. I stomped. My Jeep sputtered. It slowed. For twenty miles, it made a hoogiduh, boogiduh sound and never got over 35 miles per hour. And my poor windshield wipers desperately tried to keep up.

Finally, I saw the shelter of a gas station and pulled in. I was saturated. Water dripping off every part of my body. Shoes sloshing and squeaking as I moved and walked. But, I had made it out unscathed. A little damp, but no permanent damage. Well, unless you count the ego part. My husband would never let me live it down.

This morning, as my son noticed the pink sky, I snickered to myself. Pride runs deep, doesn’t it? Stubbornness can be a good thing when it helps us overcome the impossible; but it can also leave us drowning in the rain when we aren’t humble enough to accept advice and wise counsel.

“Red sky in morning, sailor take warning.” Am I listening to the wise counsel of friends and family? Am I taking note of the red flags all around? Or am I stubbornly charging forward, destined to be consumed by the pelting rain?

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