Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track
September 13, 2018
“What Do You Do When…”
Sometimes your experiences day by day lead to some hard but rewarding new perspectives in both life and one’s relationship with the Lord; and such was the week following our Gateway MSP race. We all lived through the Gateway race day there together and it certainly left a lot to be desired between rain, lack of practice, and other unusual frustrations. Well, for Kathy and I the following days played out as a very challenging time. Let me explain and you will see what God used to show me some interesting perspectives as I walked out those days. I cannot tell it all within this space here or our Chapel time, but here’s the brief try to accomplish most of the story:
I got a call during our race asking me that since I was in St. louis area would I consider not heading home with Kathy but instead go to Columbus, OH and drive a truck back since I have a Class C. They bought two trucks and I suggested that they low-boy them however to save money would I bring one and then the other.
Well, trying to help and do a favor we finally said yes and changed tickets. So I left Kathy to head home alone at Minneapolis while I flew to Columbus. It was the beginning of what you might call “hell week,” and I’m not talking about that college, military, or even racing series types of that kind of week.
Right away my flight to Columbus was delayed and I didn’t get into Columbus airport until the middle of the night leaving me stuck there until morning so it was a hotel night and a wait for a shuttle to it.
Morning came and back to the airport to find a way to where the truck was I would drive back to Oregon. Well come to find out; it wasn’t in Columbus! It was in Zanesville, OH about an hour and a half east of Columbus so now how did I get there? Cheapest way by far was Greyhound. Okay, how do I get to Greyhound since I found out it didn’t come to the airport. Finally, I got a city bus there and a Greyhound ticket leaving in five hours. Five hours in this bus terminal that as I looked around me showed this place was a gang fight waiting to happen at any moment! I did my best to stay out of sight and safe. By then it was deep in the evening and I arrived in Zanesville’s worst part of town like most bus stations are for some reason with the terminal closed along with everything around it about 10:45. Yeah, it wasn’t my favorite moment. Not packing, no knife, nothing except God to protect me while I tried Lyft, Uber, (which didn’t exist there) and all taxis in town until the last one before a night on a bus stop bench. With Kathy crying on the phone, praying, and absolute grace of having the faith of a mustard seed in Matthew 17:20 I tried the last one, Starbright Cab who it turns out I woke up and off duty. Hearing where I was he flew out of bed and picked me up and took me to the hotel next to Freightliner for the last 15 dollars cash I had to my name. Saved! That mountain of trouble I was in out there moved.
“Jesus replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Here’s the short bullet-points of the rest of the saga:
- Going to get the truck I found out it was broke and they needed to import a specialist to diagnose its Izuzu engine.
- For 3 days I sat there waiting with no cash to even wash my clothes and nobody would give me cash back from a purchase. The ATM at the truck stop, after a distant walk, was broken. There was supposed to be one at the strip-mall across the street but everyone said there wasn’t one on site in each store there. Hahaha, after finally getting money at a tiny “bank” inside the Realty business, which was as friendly as a rattlesnake, I discovered there was an ATM that only the local members must have access to in a dark alley behind that strip-mall. Crazy place and weird!
- The “bank” ladies wouldn’t serve me unless I was a customer and sent me outside to an ATM on the building which they just opened up. So, getting a $20 bill I went back in to get change and once again they said only if I was a customer. Some bank! The Denney’s had no change either and finally the hotel gave me change to do a load of wash and dry it.
It has been a long time since I experienced so many rude and nasty people. Only a waitress at Denny’s and a front desk lady at the hotel made the time there pleasant. With Kathy’s help and her intercessor team I knew the only answer that would glorify God was to respond to each incident in the opposite spirit; so I made that my goal.
Romans 12:21: “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.”
Romans 6:28: “bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”
- Want some humor at this point? Each morning at the hotel breakfast they had French toast to put in a toaster, warm up and butter. Each morning I got it and toasted it and got out of the way to let others get food since the space was so small only to find out that someone took mine, plate, butter, silverware too!
Through the last day of this torment I found myself thinking of Jesus words in Luke 22:42: “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” It rang a clear message to me and I proclaimed that out loud for myself and this whole issue going on.
- Finally, on Wednesday afternoon I got the truck, inspected it and left.
- I got to Columbus and it was broke again and barely got it off I-70. Calling Freightliner, I found I was a few hundred yards from where I thought I was supposed to get the truck originally!
- They had nobody to diagnose it again and I had to limp it 4 miles to a engine shop and sat there with nobody telling me anything since “I wasn’t the customer, Freightliner was!”
- Finally, as the shop closed at 8:30pm the owner of the truck called me to come home so I got a Lyft ride to the airport and arrived as it closed and no flights out until Thursday. The truck was broken again and parts on backorder. It wasn’t going anywhere. Here I was again.
- Flights were cheapest at $583 one way! I was freaking out on that cost. I stayed in the airport continuing to work and finally with Kathy praying, and her “4K YWAM Intercessors team” praying, I strangely found a senior ticket on Southwest for $350 that went out at 6am! I had looked before!
Once again that mustard seed faith of Matthew 17:20 (“Jesus replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”) That insight along with me returning to that lesson on faith and also returning to that Luke 22:42 (“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”) brought me through again.
There is more to the story, however, let’s look at why I brought this all up. There were some real lessons here. I sure got a few tough lessons living through life’s difficult days renewed in my heart and mind during this week that I lived through.
- What do you do when things don’t go the way you think they should? Yeah, isn’t that something that is a really big happening in racing out here, along with our career plans and desires.
- How long does it take to bring God into the picture?
- Have we cemented God’s scriptures and answers of what to do in our hearts and minds? Are you willing to speak them out loud? The enemy hates that and God the Father takes notice of your action!
- Do we have close friends around us that can pray for us and point us to the ways God would have us take to deal with the issue at hand?
- Are we willing to really get to the point where we say to the Lord: “IF You are willing please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet, I want YOUR will to be done, NOT mine.”