The Box in the Trunk
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. (Psalms 91:1-2)
I’M NOT A FAST LEARNER and it took me a while to realize that the Lord’s hand is busy keeping us from wiping ourselves out.
WHEN I BECAME THE NIGHT OPERATOR AT THE HWY 41 SHELL STATION, I was suddenly in charge of a lot of wealth (and boom power!). Mr. Wolf was a retired military officer and he had sunk all his savings into this place; and had put it in the hands of this…country kid that he truly knew nothing about. Didn’t he realize that his product was gasoline and that a spark could set off the whole place in one gigantic boom!? I hadn’t thought about it either. I caught a whiff of honeysuckle and that was proof that this was the place to be.
THE CASH REGISTER WAS THE MAIN INTEREST OF NIGHT ROBBERS and I simply refused to think about that. I would try not to make anybody nervous if they wanted it. I’ve already mentioned that after I cleaned up the place and hosed down the paved area, I climbed up in my old bread truck and practiced piano. I had to get in two hours a day since I was studying with two teachers: one taught me the classics and the other one taught me hymn playing.
I HAD A ROSTER OF VISITORS THAT CAME BY throughout the night, just to get a Dr. Pepper or chat. They were not dangerous and pleasant to talk with. There WAS this one guy, a disturbed, middle-aged lawyer who was having trouble with his wife, mother-in-law and alcohol, in no certain order. He had visited me several times and he wanted me to play hymns for him and I had learned not to tell him I would put him on my prayer list. He wanted to be remembered in prayer without having to be put on a list. No problem. I still remember him without reading his name off a prayer list. I just don’t remember his name.
HE HAD A BEAUTIFUL, ALMOST NEW GREEN FORD, just like the one in the picture above. He always pulled into the station in a feisty manner. But, on this night, he slowly creeped into the station and parked off to the side. I looked up and noticed that the whole front end of his car was really banged up. He had tangled with something solid, for sure. He came up to the bread truck where I was practicing piano.
I SAID: "WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR CAR? His mind was not on his car. He said: “I just ran it through the window and wall of my mother-in-law’s bedroom, but I didn’t get her.” I waited. (Why has he come over here to tell me all of this?) “She’s the worst thing that ever happened to me and I tried to kill her.” And then…
HE SAID TO ME, "COME HERE, I WANT TO SHOW YOU SOMETHING." I climbed out of the bread truck on the grease rack and followed him to his beat-up, new car. We went to the back of the car and he opened the trunk. The streetlight shined in and I could see a wooden crate in the trunk. He removed the lid and there was a case of expensive whiskey in fancy square, tall bottles.
HE PULLED OUT A BOTTLE AND PUT THE LID BACK ON THE CRATE. He broke the seal, popped the bottle and turned it up and began to guzzle until he had to breathe. (I”ve never tried whiskey, but I’ve heard it’s too strong to guzzle.) He returned the unfinished bottle back to the case and reached for something else.
HE PULLED OUT A HOLSTER AND REMOVED A BIG, BEAUTIFUL PEARL-HANDLED 45 caliber pistol. “Do you know what this is?” “Sure do, that’s a beautiful, pearl-handled 45!” Do you know what I’m going to do with it?” “No, I have no idea what you’re going to do with it. What do you have in mind?” (Had I ticked him off about something? It was clear that he was a very unstable dude.) “Well, first, I’m going to drink all of this whiskey I can hold and get myself real drunk, and then I’m going to go back over to my house and shoot my mother-in-law.” He was already on his way to being stagger-drunk and had enough whiskey in the wooden crate to take down several big men.
NOT BEING THE HERO TYPE AND WEIGHING 140 POUNDS TO HIS 200 POUNDS, I decided to engage him in conversation and try to steer him away from his mother-in-law. I don’t remember if I suggested that we sing a hymn or if I offered to play Amazing Grace for him, but somehow the conversation dragged out until he sat down and slowed down. He was too far gone to drive himself anywhere. All I can remember is that the night dragged on and he did not go shoot his mother-in-law.
SEEING THAT WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT A DAY MAY BRING FORTH, do you suppose we ought to face each day with that in mind and recognize: up front, that we need to depend on the Lord for EACH day? I think so. There’s more than one “DUDE” out there. That episode helped me to remember that I can’t handle the day by myself.
Read Through the Bible in a Year
SEPTEMBER 25, 2019 - WEDNESDAY
A.M. Isaiah 4-6 P.M. Galatians 3
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A Good Verse to Memorize:
That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. (Isaiah 45:6)
Song for Today:
I Know Who Holds Tomorrow (4:15) (Gaither Assembly)
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