2 – Help On A Trip

I was a young man with a wife and baby. We lived in Sacramento, California. My new employer was National Cash Register Company. I was temporarily assigned to the Santa Rosa, California office as an apprentice repairman. In those days cash registers were mechanical devices. The company routinely sent their apprentices to their training center in Denver, Colorado, to learn how to repair these complicated machines. This training lasted for four months. I was to be in one of those groups.

Although the apprentices were trained in groups, we traveled to Denver independently. The company would release us to travel from our home bases on a Thursday. We were to report for training in Denver on the following Monday. Many of those going to the classes were going to fly. I planned to drive the 1,280 miles (2060km) with my family so that we might be together during the four months of training. This meant that I not only had to travel that distance, but I had to find and move into an apartment.

In preparation for the trip, I took my car to a mechanic that I trusted and asked him to repair anything that looked as though it could cause trouble. After the repair, I prayed, “Lord, if there’s anything that is about to fail that the mechanic couldn’t find, please have it fail before we go.” The next day, my water pump failed. The embarrassed mechanic was defensive as he tried to explain that such a failure was impossible to predict. Smiling, I told him that the failure was an answer to prayer, and explained why. A believer himself, he rejoiced with me, then replaced the pump. I considered myself ready to go.

When my boss told me that I was to go to Denver that week, I checked with the California State Auto Association and told them my planned route. They said that heavy snow storms had closed the road I planned to take, Highway 50, and gave me an alternate route that was more to the north, Highway 30, now Interstate 80. The storm had affected the entire western U.S., but with this route, in their estimation, I had a better chance of getting through.

The Bible says that when we acknowledge Jesus as Lord, we become born again into the family of God, that He becomes our Father. Well, I reasoned, I’d think that any father would help his son on a trip if he could, so it would be reasonable for me to ask my Father for His help. I did.

What I discovered was that the road along the entire route was dry! The parking lots were high with snow in places where the storm had been, but there were no places where snow had melted and run across the road or where snow remained on the road. There was no ice, no nothing that might make driving hazardous. We ate a meal in a restaurant in Laramie, Wyoming. A local resident said, “You should have been here two days ago! I’ve lived here all my life. Worst storm I’ve ever seen!” I marveled, asking myself whether the perfect conditions that I was driving with might be an answer to prayer.

I write this story almost forty years after the event. Was this a miracle? If your definition of a miracle requires that laws of nature be suspended, the answer is “No.” Experiences of this type can be called “coincidental” or they can be thought of as answers to prayer. The Bible says that God places a high premium on faith in Him and His love. I can choose to believe that He heard my prayer or I can choose to believe that it “just happened”. Either choice demands faith. I choose the former. I am a blessed man.

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