Last week I flew in to a small town in XXXXXXX and was picked up to be driven to an even smaller town in a province near the XXXXXX border.
Two lane roads (1 1/2 really). Dirty. Potholes. Garbage and stagnant water in roadside ditches. Hot compared to Alaska but not unpleasant. When we started to pull out of the airport parking lot, the truck would not go into gear. Our driver said, “I’ve had this truck for six years and never had a problem like this!” I could see he was feeling some pressure since a breakdown afforded us few good options. It was late enough in the day that we’d not be able to get help and we were scheduled for some meetings later that evening.
We put the standard shift pickup into neutral, managed to get it rolling forward, and jammed it into gear. First gear, but at least we were in gear. We just couldn’t shift or stop again for the remainder of the 90 minute drive (now sure to be twice that long) because the clutch was worthless or something was terribly wrong with the transmission.
Fifteen minutes later the truck slipped out of gear and once again our driver was apologizing to us all the while carrying on a tense conversation with the truck. Frustrated. There was nothing we could do except slowly coast to the side of the road. Quietly, I heard Al from the back seat, “Lord, please put this truck in gear” and before he could get the word "gear" out of his mouth, the truck popped into gear and I finished his sentence without a pause, “ . . . like you just did.”
Thirty minutes later we were passing through a small town and had to take the truck out of gear for a traffic light. When the light turned green, we were stranded again as the car would not move. We sat for several long minutes in the middle of traffic as our driver pushed, pumped, and tried to jam the truck into gear. Again from the back seat I heard Al pray just loud enough for us to hear him, “Lord please put this truck in gear” and before he finished saying "gear," the truck popped into gear and I finished Al’s sentence prayer without a pause, “ . . . just like that!”
Al’s next words to us were, ”You have not because you ask not.”
I know God does not always work that way. But he did work that way . . . on that particular day. Those first moments of our trip set the stage for prayers prayed later in the week that were of much greater significance and consequence.
Where am I? Glad to be reminded that God hears me and cares about my life, even the little things. Sometimes I pray because I think I’m supposed to pray and not because I think God will REALLY do anything. Fear (I am afraid most of the time which is why I need God all the time). Shame that I live with such an illusion of self-sufficiency.