Ted, Dantzel, her sister Hannah, and I decided to go camping this weekend. Ted had found a state park some 3 hours south of Provo called Goblin Valley, and we decided it was worth a visit. And that is where the adventure begins. “It is a dangerous business walking out your front door” they say, and they are right. We actually left much later than we had originally planned, and ended up driving around on back roads at around midnight, in the total dark, and missing the turnoff to the campground. Instead we drove around for hours on dirt roads that twisted and wound around on themselves, with sometimes sharp drop-offs on the side. It was fun, as we kept seeing signs to the campground we were looking for that seemed to point off in different directions, most of them back the way we had come. Eventually we found the campground, at around 2:30 in the morning, probably causing our neighbors a lot of trouble. As we unpacked our tents and stuff we noticed that the back left tire was flat; a perfect end to a perfect day! But, being way too tired to care about it; we simply set up camp and went to sleep, thinking to fix it in the morning. So, after waking up we looked at the tire, and we had pretty much shredded it, having driven some unknown distance on it flat. But, I have a spare and a tire changing kit in the Blazer, so it wasn’t a problem. But it was. We spent at least an hour simply trying to get the spare tire to lower from its resting place on the underside of the car, as the mechanism for lowering it was very stuck and wouldn’t budge an inch. Some neighboring campers let us use some WD-40, which only made it all slippery and harder to use. I had reached a point where I was ready to simply cut the cable that held the spare tire in place and worry about the problems that caused later, preferably when we were safely home in Provo. But when I had reached rock-bottom, when my knowledge and strength were at their end, I turned to the Lord. Of course I had prayed, I had prayed almost constantly from the time I found out the tire was flat, but still no answer had come as to how to fix it. It was then, when I was at my end, that I turned to the scriptures. I opened and began to read, not really expecting to find any information about changing a tire, though I was tempted to look up tire in the Topical Guide, but expecting that the Lord would speak to my mind and my heart those things I needed as I showed him to what lengths I was willing to go in order to receive an answer from him. And the answers came. It was suggested that we walk to the Ranger Station and maybe borrow something to cut the cable, or something. But when the ranger came to help, he pulled out a ratcheting tire iron from his truck, which he said he had just put in there the day before. That simple tool was all that we needed to get the necessary torque and lower the spare tire. Once the tire was lowered it was a fairly quick job of changing the tire, and we had no more problems. And so, with the tire fixed, and our transportation home in working order again, we decided to go hiking around the rock formations of Goblin Valley, and we had a good time. We saw some amazing things, some amazing views and simply had ourselves a great hike. And in the end, it was a good camping trip, though next time I think I shall do a few things differently. It was a learning experience for us all, but mostly for me. I reached a point mentally and spiritually where all of the things that have happened in the past few weeks came together and coupled with the flat tire experience to teach me a lesson I need to learn: complete dependence on God. I need to learn to let my will be swallowed up in his, and I need to learn that it is only through him that I can do all things. And with this camping trip, I reached a point where I could do no more of myself and the only solution was to turn to God. And as he has so often promised, if we seek him he shall be found, if we ask he shall answer.
And so in the Valley of Goblins I faced and conquered a devil in my heart. Though I did not bring my broadsword, I was armed with the Word of the Lord written in my heart and in the scriptures. The battle was long and fierce, and in the end I stood victorious with my faithful Friend at my side, in whose strength I can do all things.