Last week, I traveled to Seattle and Vancouver (Canada) to spend time with the terrific folks who lead TruthMedia. They do a tremedous job in internet evangelism, involving hundreds as internet missionaries. I ran out of gas as I reached the airport for my flight to get there.
Yep, missionaries do run out of gas also. There’s nothing more practical than keeping gas in the tank!
Now, let me rush to defend myself, lest I embarrass myself more than I already have. Our gas gauge hasn’t worked for years on our 1993 van. So I use the odometer (that little thing that records the miles driven!). I reset the trip mileage to 000 every time I fill up. Well, I usually reset it. Sometimes, I forget for a day or so, then I have to remember that it’s not quite accurate.
Then I can drive until it says 360, which is 20 miles/gallon in an 18 gallon tank. So I should refill by 340 or 350, but being a male, I have gone to 360 just to prove my calculations are correct.
This time, the van let me down. I ran out of gas at only 330! Can you imagine that!??
I’m pulling into the parking lot when the van starts sputtering. I furiously pump the gas pedal to keep it going a little further while frantically searching for an empty parking spot. I sputter down one row with no empty spaces (where did all these people travel to!!!???) and am turning the corner when the van sputters for the last time just as I see an empty spot ahead. I put it into neutral and open my door to push, but the good old van doesn’t disappoint. It slowly rolls to a stop in the parking spot, and I don’t even have to press on the brakes!
How’s that for excellent planning?!!!
Actually, I didn’t feel so smart at all. Rather, I felt a tremendous flood of God’s grace providing an empty spot just as the the van gave its last sputter.
This embarrassing story might have been safely hidden from all. But I’ve shared it with our children, a few other friends, and we also had our friends Peter and Annette Biendit, longtime friends from Shiloh Terrace Baptist Church in Dallas, visit this weekend. Since several have now heard the story, I felt I should be sure to present it in the best possible light before word spreads!!!
I’m sure there are many spiritual applications, but the simple fact is that I did run out of gas. I think I’ll leave it at that!
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