There comes a point in every Hellenist's life, I think, when the Gods have shown themselves so many times that it becomes absurd to fear anything but them. The reality of the presence of the Gods becomes self-evident. Recently while talking on the phone with an old friend, they too said the Gods have saved them so many times that a blind person could see it, metaphorically speaking. I didn't take a lot of time to explain my own experiences, but the conversation did take me back to some very notable times in my life, ones I haven't really talked about that much.
One of the greatest potential disasters I found myself in, along with my wife and son, happened on our moving journey from North Carolina to Illinois in late 2012. What we couldn't pack into our cars, we sold before leaving, but all of the items that we did pack weighed down my wife's car so much that the back right tire began to split open. That's right, there was so much weight that it literally squashed the guts out of the wheel. I didn't even know that could happen, nor that it would take place in the worst possible circumstance; the middle of a remote Indiana interstate. Fortunately, there was a sideroad for emergencies.
However, we were in a bad situation. We were stranded with our two year old baby, and the cold night was coming. I began addressing the problem as any sensible man would. I pulled the spare out of the back of my wife's car and slid the jack underneath to change the tire, a fairly simple process. Except the jack was so badly bent that it was disabled. So I stayed with our son while my wife took my car and drove to a local Walmart to purchase a new one. It was already completely dark by the time she returned, and as bad fortune would have it, the new jack broke when I tried to lift the car with it.
At that point in my life, my anxiety disorder was at its peak. I became hysterical. But I turned my emotions and voice to the sky as I looked up and yelled, "Gods please help us!" Shortly after that, a young couple spotted us and pulled over. The man was a mechanic and managed to use the old jack to finally get the spare on the vehicle. From that point, we managed to make it within twelve miles of our destination in Freeport, Illinois before another tire gave out (Illinois is a long way from North Carolina). We came in with one car on a wrecker, but we nevertheless made it. We were determined to start a new life.
If the Gods hadn't heard my plea and sent that couple toward us, I have no idea how things would have turned out because, at the time, we did not have roadside assistance or any kind of close emergency contact. But when I think back on this time, I realize it was by no means an isolated incident. I could write a book about all the times the Gods clearly came to the rescue of my family and I, and in the worst situations that seemed hopeless. There are many mysteries in this world, and so many things we cannot understand. But what I have always known for certain is that the Greek Gods are real.
In the Goodness of the Gods,