We were driving along feeling great about the sunny weather along I-70 in the Rockies. Vail was 80 miles ahead and Glenwood Springs was the next town. The Sun was bright, road was dry, scenery beautiful and our tires were good. We’d stopped for the night in Green River. When getting into the car that morning, a “good neighbor” said, “You might want to check that right front tire.” I did … it was flat. We found a great garage where they pulled the nail and off we went. Perhaps a harbinger of things to come.

Have you experienced a sudden change in circumstance and made the wrong decision when trying to fix the problem? You are not alone … check out this one. As we came down a gentle hill and cruised around a curve, the sunlight disappeared and the shade became our new reality … along with the ice. “Watch the ice,” I shouted to Judy. “Oh my,” she said as she hit the brakes! When you live in California, knowing how to drive on ice is not one of the prerequisites.

Do you know what happened? Yup, we were spinning, hurtling backwards into the 25 yard ditched median, bouncing onto the “other direction” highway facing into traffic. “Drive into the ditch,” I cried, and she did. We came to rest perpendicular to the highways with our hood directed into the snow bank.

We breathed a sigh of relief, checked on Brent in the back seat, and said a quick prayer of thanks.

I may write about the rescue and the rest of the adventure later. Suffice it to say we survived and the car was not even damaged. Unbelievable!

So where is the lesson here? What can we learn about each of our decisions in life? Here are a couple of principles:

  1. Not only know where you are, but anticipate where you are going
  2. Review alternative possible courses of action given your circumstance
  3. Always wear your seatbelt
  4. Love your family all the time

And finally, don’t step on the brake when you hit the shady ice in your life. Shady ice appears out of nowhere, although in hind site it could be anticipated. Isn’t that a little like planning for a Future Funded Ministry? No preparation and the “shady ice” of life attacks you at the most vulnerable time … when it may be too late to do anything about it.

As a Retirement Plan Oversight Committee member we have a fiduciary responsibility to do all we can to alert our plan participants about the “shady ice” of retirement. Further, we have the responsibility to educate them how to prepare for that eventuality. “Watch out, there is ‘shady ice‘ ahead” is the figurative picture of our role to encourage and support. How are we doing?

As we head into 2013, let’s check our RPOC travel plans, schedules, and training.

Watch out for the “shady ice” and Don’t put on the brakes!

Living with Trusted Advice together,


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