When I turned 15 I was the only teenager who didn’t want to learn how to drive. My parents repeat a lot that I wanted to live on a bus line so I didn’t have to drive and preferably in a big city. To me it sounded wonderful. But my life did not bring me to this wonderful city living. Instead my parents forced made me take drivers ed, I learned to drive and I got my license at 16. Sometime after that this story happened.
One day my parents went to a meeting at church and my younger brother and I were left to get dinner. My parents had graciously provided money for some pizzas, so Patrick and I ordered pizza and I went to pick it up. (For some reason, my brother did not go but I can’t remember why.) On the way back, I felt something weird happening with the car so I pulled into a dirt driveway for a realtor’s business kind of in the middle of nowhere. The area was on a main road that had a sub division located about 2 miles from where I pulled over. The realtors office was closed. I got out of the car and saw that I had a flat tire.
This was in 1997ish and I got my first cell phone around 2001, so there was no calling anyone without having to walk at least 2 miles, hoping the house I went to was safe. I also had not been taught how to change a tire in drivers ed. I knew, from watching my dad, that you took the lug nuts off the car with the long wrench in the back of the car. (If you know about car parts, sorry I don’t know the correct terminology.) I should also mention that it was dark out. I got the manual and went to the part about changing a tire. If I remember correctly, it was lacking in many of the details on how to do this, but I knew I could do it.
First I learned how to jack the car up so that I could remove the wheel. I put the jack on the edge of the car and it caused an indent into the car. But I did it anyway. There were 5 lug nuts on my car and I proceeded to take them off. While putting the wrench on the first lug nut, I realized it was going to be really hard so I came up with a song to sing while taking them off. This was in the spring time, but for some reason, I decided to sing “We Three Kings”. Every time I would go to push the wrench, I would sing “We Three Kings” and then push. One lug nut after another came off and I thought I could do this. “We Three Kings”, third one came off. “We Three Kings”, fourth one came off. “We Three Kings”, stuck. Try again. Stuck again. In fact, it seemed like the wrench wasn’t fitting exactly onto the lug nut. I kept trying, while singing the song. Still stuck. And I was getting frustrated.
I took a break and decided to eat some pizza. At this point I had been gone from home for 1 1/2 hours. (Due to my diabetes, I also needed to eat something.) While I had been praying all along, I began to earnestly pray for help, thinking that if I continued singing that song, it might help. I tried again and that lug nut did not bulge. I was stuck in my car and I knew my options were limited. My brother couldn’t drive and my parents were not going to get back from church for another hour or so. I did not want to walk the two miles to the sub division because I was uncertain of how far it would actually be. While thinking about my options, I tried doing morse code with SOS with the lights. No one stopped… I tried singing other songs to calm myself but I realized I was really stuck. Even though I was worried about my situation a peace came over me that it was going to be ok even though I didn’t have any idea what I was going to do. I mean I was using morse code…
I waited in the car for a good 45 minutes more before I began to really think about walking to the subdivision. About the time I was about to start walking, a car pulled in behind me and my dad got out. (Since becoming a parent, I’ve come to realize that he was probably more relieved than I was.) He quickly assessed the situation and took off the last lug nut. If you are ever in a similar situation, you should know that there is a special lug nut on cars that needs a special part that goes on the wrench to take off this lug nut. Later my dad told me that he spent a lot of time trying to figure out which way he thought I would have gone to the pizza place. Praise God, he chose the correct route the first time.
This Christmas season, I am glad that God provided that situation for me. First, I now know there are special lug nuts. Secondly, I remember that peace that came at a time I should have been worried. Third, like my dad, the wise men were searching for a prized treasure. Unlike my dad, that treasure saved them.
Have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!
“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:2