Tell God everything

I tell God everything.

Driving home one weekend, I felt lonely…and afraid. I complained to God:

I hate my life. Work takes up all my time. I don’t have any close friends in this city. Everybody else has spouses or buddies who have their back. Who do I have? If I never made it home, who would notice? Or care?

I slid—no, marched—down into a deep pit of self-pity.

I vaguely noticed a strange noise outside my car. It’s probably nothing. I pulled up to a stop sign and glanced over at the driver next to me leaning forward to get my attention: Your tire is flat, he mouthed, pointing to my rear wheel.

I nodded my thanks and steered my car to the curb. When I saw the tire, my heart sank. It was flat as a pancake.

This is great. See what I mean, God? I know nothing about flat tires, especially how to change one, and I’ve got no one to call. My brothers both live several states away. What am I going to do? Help me—please.

I knew you shouldn’t drive on a flat tire—it could damage the wheel. But I had no choice. Because I lived close by, I drove home, changed into grungy clothes, and returned to the car. All I could think to do was drive to the nearest gas station and ask for help.

The station was manned by a single employee—a twenty-something young man, who agreed to put on my spare when there was a lull in business. I sat in my car and watched a steady stream of customers for the next 15 minutes. Discouraged, I opened my trunk and pulled out the tire and the jack. Could I figure this out on my own?

No.

Just then, a wiry, aging-hippy-looking man popped out of the car behind me. You need help changing a tire? he asked cheerfully.

Ah…yeah, it’s completely flat and I’ve never…

He was already unscrewing the lug nuts on the flat. He whistled whiled he worked. His movements were like a dance, a choreographed set of graceful moves he had performed again and again.

I hunched over, watching.

Between twists and turns he taught me: It’s really not difficult. Every woman needs to know how to change a flat tire in case she gets stuck on a back road somewhere.

He explained his movements as he removed the flat tire and positioned the spare. Look, there are instructions on the bottom of the trunk and here. He pointed to the jack. Sure enough, the “Eight steps to changing a flat tire” were printed on a sticker on the side of the jack. Who’d have known?

When finished, he returned his toolbox to his truck and began pumping gas. I hinted at paying him something, but he refused.

Oh, and don’t drive any faster than 50 miles an hour. That’s all these spare tires can take, he added.

I figured this man must be a Christian…or an angel in disguise.

Well, I want to thank you for being an answer to my prayers, I said.

And then his tirade: I’m no answer to prayers. Heaven forbid. I tried all that Jesus stuff and found out church people are a bunch of self-righteous hypocrites. They talk a big talk about love and everything but when you really need something, they’re gone as fast as the next guy. Nope. I learned the hard way. Me, myself, and I –that’s all there is. I figured out there isn’t any God and I’m just fine.

He returned the pump to its holder with a loud clang.

Stunned, I mumbled something about thanks again, got in and turned the key.

Hugging the right lane at a cautious 49-miles-an-hour, I pondered the import of what had just happened.

OK, God, you just sent an atheist to help me.

God had heard my complaints. He let me know He had control over every person and resource to help me. I could relax. Trust Him. I’d be OK. Even better than OK.

I get it. Thank you.

I tell God everything.

He hears and answers.

 

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