That Little Phrase

November 2, 2013

I penned the following words for the monthly newsletter of Trinity Baptist Church in Palmdale, CA when I was her pastor in January of 2006. At that time, I worked as a truck driver in the Mojave Desert and through Los Angeles to make ends meet. I trust that it will make sense today.

“He never wanted it to be what it had become.”

     These words came to my mind as I traveled north on Highway 14 yesterday. I am not sure what they were to become, but there was such an urgency about them in my mind that, after I fought the urge for about ten minutes, I stopped all 18 of my wheels and proceeded to write them on the notepad I keep for just such an occasion.

     So there I was, in the middle of the desert north of Mojave, California, intending to be about a half minute or so, when I smelled something. It was not a bad smell, but it was familiar and I knew what it was immediately. Looking out of my windshield, there it was billowing steam from under the hood. A coolant line had sprung a fairly small leak, just a quarter inch or so, but under the immense pressure of the 190 degree water and antifreeze, it was making quite a show. By the time it was done, we had replaced five gallons of fluids, and my half minute turned into five and one half hours waiting on the mechanic to come with a new piece of hose.

   Now there is a point to my story. You see, if God had not stopped me long enough to jot a quick note to myself, or if I had chosen to use my micro cassette recorder rather than my pen to record this phrase which was meaningless at the moment, I might not have even noticed the leak until the engine had overheated and possibly been seriously damaged. The steam would have passed unnoticed right under my truck at 55 MPH. But God got my attention in an abnormal way and got me to do something I would not normally do. It was then that the situation became clear.

     So, is God trying to get your attention and cause you to see what might not be clear any other way? Are you feeling an urgency to do something you might not ordinarily do and you cannot get that thing off your mind? Are you afraid of that strange thing because it is so unusual?

     As you start your new year, decide to do the unusual. Shake something up and see what happens when things are not as normal as you would like. God may have something in that out of place event that you need to see.

Well, that was my story. I sure am glad I stopped that January day in 2006. Not only do I have a nice story to tell, but I also did not get stuck in the desert needing a tow truck. Thus we have another story of God taking care of simple and perhaps mundane things. Things like this just make me more resolved to go to church every single time.

By the way. I have never used this phrase for anything significant in and of itself. I am pretty sure that those inspired (not to Biblical proportions) word really don’t mean anything at all. But if I am ever in the desert, especially while driving an 18 wheeler, and those words come to mind, I am going to stop and sniff around a bit. Might just find something too.

See You SONday

(c) 2013 SF Gallagher


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