So I am sitting in my kitchen enjoying this beautiful spring day. The sun is shining, the windows are open, there is a cool breeze wafting through the house, and Eric Clapton on vinyl is kissing my ears. These are the kinds of days that I have actually dreamed about. But all of that is not the point. I am simply appreciating it all the more after the small miracle that I experience this morning.
My plans this morning were to head down to Richmond to pick up a painting of Jimi Hendrix that I had done. I started out in my car seeing that I had about a quarter of a tank of gas, thinking jovially that I would stop somewhere along the way to refuel and maybe grab some Wawa coffee that my friends seem to think is the best in the world. The drive was pleasant out of DC… it’s nice to break the barrier of the DC bubble every once in a while. I made it most of the way down to Richmond, saw a Wawa and decided to make a stop to refuel.
I pulled up to the gas station, jumped out my car, ready to take care of this menial task and get back to my road trip. The tank is open and I reach into my pocket. Suddenly panic grips my heart. I reach into my other pocket, and again my hand clasps nothing. I check the side pockets on my cargo shorts… AAhhh!!!! I forgot my wallet! Panic starts to kick in.. and I start thinking about whether I should turn around and head back home. But if I do that then I will miss my appointment to pick up the painting. What am I gonna do?
I had a brief moment of clarity and simply prayed a little prayer.. “What should I do?”
No voice from heaven thundered, no little cherubs delivered a message straight from Jesus. I just felt an impression that I should just keep moving. Go on as planned. Get the painting and return home.
There was the nagging logical part in my brain that always feels compelled to explain how things won’t work, and that little dude went on a tirade. You’ll never make it back! You’ll get stranded on the side of the road! How on earth do you expect that you are going to make it home?
So I drove on to get the painting, and started on my way back. About 20 miles into my return journey, the orange light of death begins to glow letting me know that my car doesn’t think it has that much gas left. So from that point on the battle began. The little dude was up in arms pacing back and forth in my mind telling me how stupid of a decision that was, telling me just how frustrating this experience is going to be, and how much of a pain in the butt this is going to be.
I prayed a little prayer again and simply felt like I needed to keep driving.
For the record, I have never pushed my little ‘97 past 330 miles on one tank of gas. I was at 320. Prayerfest 2010 began then! It was not the normal “God if you get me out of this I will be an incredible man for the rest of my life” kind of prayer. It was different.
I simply prayed along these lines: “God, I know I forgot my wallet and I don’t have any money to be able to stop and pay for gas, but I am trying to listen to You. I felt like you told me to keep moving, so there are a lot of miles between here and home. I am trusting that You will get me there.” And I sent out a Crackberry message to some friends to pray for me to be able to make it home.
I wish I could say that I was calm the whole time, but there were definitely moments of envisioning myself stopping dead in the middle of the interstate and backing up traffic for hours, with the wonderfully excited expressions of my fellow interstate travelers as they passed the cause of the backup. No that’s not a middle finger I just saw! That person was just waving howdy with one finger, right?
Every extra 10 miles I said a little thank You prayer; 340, 350…. 370, 380. Ladies and Gentlemen, I not only made it home, but I was able to run into my house with the car still idling and grab my wallet, but made it out to the gas pump to get refueled. Draw your own conclusions, but I am pretty convinced that Jesus is still in the miracle business.