The minute this little "incident" took place, I jumped out of the tractor to assess the damages. Hearing a distinct hissing noise coming from the tire, I immediately felt sick. Man, I'd really blown it this time. And of course I had to call Dad to tell him what just happened. Gulp.
Isn't that the worst feeling? When I know that I've said or done something incredibly stupid, and I have to admit it to someone else--it's so hard for me. But there wasn't much of another option, so I called Dad right away. Told him everything, and he said he'd come check it out. I sat there on the steps of the tractor until he came, head in my hands, trying not to cry because that isn't the grown up thing to do. :) But I still felt awful.
When Dad arrived, he gave me my supper, and before even looking at the tire, he said "Hey, don't worry about it, ok? I've made a lot bigger mistakes than this." He didn't get upset, or ask me what I was thinking, or tell me that I should've been more careful. He just told me that it was ok.
We looked everything over and determined that the tire could be fixed without having to replace it, and that the other piece of equipment involved had suffered only minimal cosmetic damages. The tire wasn't loosing air very fast, so I was able to keep running it for another hour or two.
I am so thankful for my dad's patience with me. The way that he offered such a gentle, forgiving response reminded me of my Heavenly Father. Isn't He that way with us? How often I screw things up, and yet He graciously extends forgiveness to me time and time again. I'm so grateful that God does not get angry with me when I sin, but that when I confess it to Him, He lifts the shame and gently reminds me that I am forgiven.
Not that there are never consequences....We didn't have to replace the tire, but now it has a slow leak and goes flat about every other day. I've had to limp home from the field numerous times to fill it back up. But every time that I do, I'm reminded of how much I am loved, and I thank God for His patience with me, and of course for giving me such an awesome dad!