Wednesday, September 8, 2010


It wasn't a bad day. It wasn't particularly easy, but it wasn't bad. I had a lot to do, as was my usual situation, and very little time to get it all done. Husband would be leaving very soon and I had errands to complete in order to facilitate that trip. To say the least, I was very busy and probably more than a little distracted.

Anywhere I drive, I have to plan on a minimum of twenty minutes just to get to the nearest small town. So I was definitely distracted when I didn't hear the fuel reminder ding at what must have been just outside the drive to the ranch. In fact, I didn't hear the subsequent dings after that, until the alarm finally gave up on me and quit "reminding" me altogether.

I had run almost all of my errands in town and was hopping onto the Interstate to head to the grocery when I looked down at my control panel and realized I was all but out of fuel! After a quick look at the swelling traffic ahead I ducked off the Interstate and made some quick decisions about the nearest gas station.

Sitting at a light and praying God would bless me once more with a way to get to a gas station without stalling in traffic, my car puttered, stuttered and gave up the ghost. Luckily, I was sitting on a hill and in the right lane, so I ducked off the main road and coasted down hill to a station where I drifted into a fueling stall.

You would think that such good luck would have had me smiling. Nope. I was not pleased. In fact, I was feeling rather sorry for myself. "Why was it always so stinking hard?" I remember thinking. "Why can't it just go smoothly?" I was doing the errands needed to sent the Man down the road and I was the only one who ever did. No one else ran these stinking errands, no one else bothered to pick up dry cleaning, and why was I the only one who could put gas in the car? Oh yeah... I was on a pity party big time!

I filled the tank (something I should have been very thankful for), and I headed back out onto the road, right for the Interstate. If I was lucky, I might be able to miss the rush hour traffic that loomed large all around me. It was almost four in the afternoon.

Merging onto the Interstate I groaned... Traffic was wall to wall and backed up for miles! Now I had to sit in traffic since the nearest exit was at least another mile up the road. I banged on the steering wheel in frustration. Once again, I was stuck doing nothing when there was so so much to do! What was God doing to me???

Turns out, God wasn't doing anything to me. As I clicked on the radio, stewing not very quietly in my seat, I learned that the Interstate was backed up for miles. "No duh!" I groused. But as I listened I was stopped short in my tracks.

The reason for the traffic wasn't due to the regular rush hour congestion. No. The reason for the traffic was due directly to the fact that a woman leapt off the Interstate over pass into on coming traffic, in front of a rapidly moving bus. Not only had she made a swan dive into concrete and asphalt, but she made sure she got the job done by timing it just right so that she would be hit by a careening bus.

And I had the audacity to think my day was bad? I was humbled to say the least. I turned off the radio and in that moment, I bowed my head, "Lord, forgive me for being so incredibly selfish. I am blessed beyond measure."

Life is like that sometimes, isn't it? We get so caught up in our own problems and wishes that we forget how really blessed we are. It isn't until someone or something reminds us how bad it really could get that we take stock of what we have.

The woman was incredibly selfish to take her life. She must have been having a very bad day to do what she did. But even worse in my thoughts, what about that poor bus driver? He or she wasn't doing anything but their job. They hadn't made a poor choice other than to pick that lane at that moment to travel in, and they couldn't have known what was about to transpire. In an instant their entire life was altered by someone else and their choice.

I wonder about that driver. Are they still driving? Did it cause them incredible trauma, enough for them to hang up their job? What about folks traveling under that bridge at that very moment? Did a mother have to explain to children what just happened? In an instant that woman's choice altered the decisions and the lives of many other people.

Am I aware that my choices, no matter how small and insignificant I think they are, or how big and life altering I believe they may be, might effect those around me in a huge way? It could be a good change, it could be a terrible change. Am I aware of it?

Like the "reminder" alarm for refueling my car, if I am distracted I may just find myself on the side of the road and out of gas to complete the work I have before me. How much more so if I don't heed the reminder alarms from God. He has them set up all around me, but if I ignore them and careen on toward my own ends, He may choose to quit "dinging" and sit back and watch.

Is it His fault I have gone off and done my own thing on my own steam? Nope. Will He pick me up when I call for refueling? Absolutely! But I do have to recognize it is my responsibility to listen to my warning bells. I need to be aware when distractions from His purpose threaten to derail my path and lead me from Him.

God wants our tanks full of His love and His purpose. As you go off to your day, remember to check your fuel light and come before God if you are feeling low. He is waiting to fill you up.