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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Out of Gas!

I drove 229 miles today.  We do that a lot around here: driving.  It is, I suppose, the price of living in a rural area in California.  Life in the mountains is worth it to us, but sometimes, it can be a strain.  At any rate, as we were on the middle leg of our journey, the fuel indicator, which had been hovering around empty, began flashing.

Copyright: BrokenSphere/Wikimedia Commons
Well, we were a good 45 miles from a gas the middle of the desert.  The middle of the Mojave desert, 45 miles from anything, is not the place that one wants to run out of fuel.

Knowing that I was driving my husbands car, which gets about 40 miles to the gallon, I was not terribly worried....until about 10 miles later, when it began flashing rapidly.  Well this, friends...this was a different story.

We were still 35 miles from anything but Joshua trees, rabbits, and lizards.  Oh,...and a dry, (very dry), lake bed...which did not look like a comfortable place to spend the night.  My daughter dialed my husband on her cell phone to get an idea of how long we had after the the empty indicator began flashing like a neon sign, but was met with no bars.  Apparently, the rabbits do not need cell phone reception. Well then, I suppose that we had better be prepared to become familiar with that lake bed...

We soldiered on, trying to trust, praying actively, and feeling more than a little stressed about this ordeal.  Providently, the precious little town of Mojave finally came into view.  I was never quite so glad to see that first little gas station, that charges six prices for each gallon of gasoline, but, I didn't care.  I paid those six prices for the first time ever.  Of course, as we continued through town after filling the tank, we saw the familiar "count down" of gas stations...each gas station displaying ten cents less per gallon than the one before.  The price you pay for gasoline, in a tiny desert town in the middle of nowhere, depends upon the station's proximity to the edge of town, and how desperate you are to get gas in your tank.
Rembrandt, Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Gallilee

As we drove away, two things came to mind.  (Well, three actually, one being that I really should be less lazy about filling up before embarking on a drive across the desert, even if I'm pretty sure I have enough fuel.)  I thought, though, about Jesus calming the storm and then rebuking the disciples.

  "Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?"

The second thought was of the Sermon on the Mount:

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear......Who of you can, by worrying, add a single hour to his life?"

Sermon on the Mount, Carl Bloch
Artwork: {{PD-1923}}-published before 1923 and therefore public domain in the US 

Why did these things come to mind?

As it happens, when we filled that eleven gallon tank, it took only 10.3 gallons.  So, we had another 40 miles that we could have driven safely.  We could, in fact, have made it all the way home.  (And to a station selling much less expensive gasoline, by the way.)  While I'm not advocating "pushing it", when the empty fuel indicator is screaming at you visually, I do think that I would do well to remember that He has it under control....and stop worrying already.  You'd think that after 44 years of living, I'd have learned that by now.

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  1. Yikes, I can relate. We live about an hour from town on the mesa surrounded by mountains which could dump snow on us at any given time. There is no cell service for about 30 min on the deserted highway in between here and the Rio Grande Gorge. After dark particularly it makes me nervous, the possibility of being stranded with no phone, and this time of year, the schizophrenic weather which can go from sunny to snowstorm in no time.

    It makes you wonder how in the heck people managed a 100 years ago, and how much more connected they were to their faith because of that lifestyle?

  2. Oh, dear, you sound like me when it comes to the pumps. Isn't it amazing what God will use to teach us? I'm glad you made it home safely :).


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