I was thankful for Dad's borrowed Chevy as I headed back to college following Christmas break. The flamingo pink paint job didn't do much for me but at least it was in good shape and reliable, or so Dad and I thought. With barely enough money for fuel and meager eats, I couldn't swing any repair bills. So when the motor made an odd noise and lost power for a moment, I was galvanized to pray enthusiastically.
It picked right up with its familiar rhythm and I breathed a sigh of relief as I was coming into Montgomery at rush hour. Noticing the sinking fuel gauge, I pulled into a gas station and filled up. Remembering Dad's fuel stop routine, I checked the oil, cleaned the windshield, eyeballed the tires and paid the bill from my small supply of travel cash. The old motor fired right up and soon I was pulling out into the river of cars on Montgomery's south side. At the first stop light the motor died. I turned the key and cranked the engine until the battery died. As I listened to the futile clicking of the solenoid I realized I was in a tough situation; a very balky car, a very small amount of travel money, and very alone in a very big city.
The honking and rude comments from the drivers behind me only served to underscore the precariousness of my situation. I bowed my head and prayed, asking God to help the old Chevy start one more time. My work around Dad's service station as a kid had taught me enough to know there was no "start" left in that battery. And whatever possessed me to think it might start after it WOULDN'T moments before?
Naïveté? Desperation? Faith? After all these years I'm still not sure. All I know is that when I raised my head from praying, that old pink Chevy started like a new one and ran like a top all the rest of the way to Missouri! It never gave me another moment's trouble as I drove it for a semester.
Moral of the story? Even when it looks impossible, go ahead and pray. The Angel told the Virgin Mary, "...with God, nothing shall be impossible!"
Ask, attempt, anticipate...
Pastor Richard Orrell