It was getting late and as I sat in the office contemplating my departure, my mind queried whether I had enough gas even to take me to the nearest gas station to top up with the $300 in my pocket, let alone take me home.
A co-worker, who had left from mid-afternoon for a meeting, entered the office and I was momentarily distracted by his return. I couldn’t help wondering how stupid it seemed that he was so accustomed to working late that he just had to return. As I packed up and left, I didn’t even tell him ‘bye’ – he just seemed crazy to me.
At the car, my fears were realized – I had barely reversed to pull out when the engine stopped – I had no gas! I walked to the gas station – a mere 5 minutes away – and got the $300 gas, put it in and then anxiously began priming the carburetor with the few drops I left in the bottle.
But the engine wouldn’t turn over – no gas was coming up in the pump. And it seemed like the starter wasn’t kicking in and the battery was weak.
A car came and parked close by, but the occupants remained inside. I thought of going over to ask for a jump-start, but my pride got the better of me – so I continued fiddling with the car doing every thing I had learnt from the countless times this episode occurred (the gas gauge doesn’t work).
Finally I thought of my co-worker! Maybe I could go back and ask him for a jump start. To my surprise, as I looked up – there he was heading to his car. Yes, he had a jumper cable and yes – he could give me a jump start. Praise God! But, even with the cars hooked up – my car just wouldn’t start.
From out of no where appeared the male occupant from the parked car. “You need to give it time to warm up,” he said. Who would imagine, he was a mechanic! But with all his efforts it wouldn’t start until he figured out that a wire had pulled out of the starter. He fixed that problem, but by then – the battery was weaker and I would need more gas to further prime the carburetor. More gas – and no money.
Let’s move the story along. I was about to give up when I called my usual mechanic, but he was too far away to help. But he confirmed that more gas and further priming of the carburetor should get it to start. Cut a long story short – my co-worker offered to provide the money and to go and get the gas. He came back, we applied the remedy with another jump start and voila – the car started.
He offered to wait until I drove off, but I told him I was fine and thanked him for his help. I wanted a little time alone to give God thanks for His provisions before I drove out. A mechanic to fix the problem with the starter; and a co-worker who was willing to do whatever it took to get my car started. Oh yes, the same co-worker that I had abused in my mind, in my ignorance, for his apparent stupidity in returning to the office at that late hour. Little did I know that he was sent back to be my miracle by El Shaddai [the God of more than enough].
I was still giving thanks as I took the long way home (no money for toll – but certainly with enough gas to take me to my destination) – when I misjudged the traffic signals and ran the red light. “Holy Jesus!!!,” I muttered as I saw the flashing lights of the patrol car behind me.
“Yes, Officer – I know I broke the red light; but I didn’t want to stop in the intersection and obstruct the traffic coming from the other side.” Calmly he responded, “but Mr. McCarthy, it’s a $800 ticket to obstruct the traffic and a $4,000 one for proceeding through the lights – which one do you think makes more sense?” I was stunned, I didn’t even know that!
He asked me a few questions; looked at me with a puzzled look as he pondered whether he should give me a ticket … was apparently impressed that – with more than 10 years of driving experience – I had never received a ticket – and smilingly bade me on my way with a warning that I should continue to be careful on the roads.
As I drove off, the radio refused to play and so the gospel CD kicked in … “I’m next in line for my blessings…”
I wept … and slowly made my way home as the tears streamed down my face…
Oh, and if you thought this was a pity party – think AGAIN! “Send [up] Judah first!”
Walk good, ’til next time …