Fatigue on the Road
Can you imagine the
position I was putting God? I
was forcing Him to cover my mistakes.
These young kids; the chaperons; the host churches all were depending
on me and I was passing my responsibility to God.
Everyone on the coach
was asleep. They thought that
when they awoke in the morning, they would be in Alexandria, VA. They went to sleep with visions of
another exciting day of choir tour.
They were looking
forward to working with host churches; enjoying the fellowship with
their friends; and knowing that they were serving a loving God. It was the epitome of being involved
with service for God a beautiful day; friends; sharing Christ; and getting
to see the country.
All of this was under the direction of a driver
who had concerns that went beyond driving the coach in a safe
manner. I cannot deny that my
personal family needs did not enter into the decision making process.
I wanted to see the
choir get where they needed to be.
I should, however, have been more concerned with their safety
and well being than my financial circumstances at home.
ironic? First, I wanted God to
be responsible for my personal needs when I left home. Now the needs are doubled; and
quadrupled beyond infinity with the needs of needs of everyone on the
coach. What could He do? What would He do?
My mind was a total
wreck. My lack of sleep physically
seemed to be trumped by my mind.
My mind was writing checks my body could not cash.
I could wake Robert
and tell him what was going on.
I am sure he would agree to shut the unit down for me to
sleep. He might even suggest
getting motel rooms for the entire group; lose another day; and then get
on track. He was that kind of a
person he could roll with the flow.
What more can you do
under the circumstances? What
can you do to make it right? I
also knew Robert had driven the church coach on trips before, but he
was sound asleep behind me.
The church coach was
a 1969 GMC motor coach.
Everything compared to what I was driving was different. The transmission, cruise control, and
so much more too numerous to recount would have to be taught in a very
short time. Not to mention that
I would have to stay awake until I was sure he had complete control.
I would have to
teach Robert how to drive an Eagle Model 15 7-speed manual
transmission. The coach had a
cruise control that controlled a Series 60 500 horsepower engine. The coach pretty much could drive
itself, but you had to know what it was doing.
According to my
body, I was left with one option.
I would have to trust God to get us through. Now this is not new to me as I had
depended on Him many times in the past.
He had always come through for me and provided for my
needs. Could I get Him to do it
During the last year, Carol and I once got to the
point that we were out of money.
We only had loose change.
We put it together and had only enough to buy a loaf of bread.
We did not even know
how long the bread would last our family but that is all we had. We even walked to a local church on
Wednesday night closer to our home as we could not afford to buy gas to
go to our church.
Sunday, I talked to the Charlie Blackwell, our Sunday School Department
Director, about sharing our transportation ministry with the
department. I had planned to
make an appeal for funds should there be those who wanted to help us.
Charlie agreed to
give me the time, but as the department time came to a close, he forgot
and dismissed the folks to their classes. I was devastated. It was over. We could not bring them back
With those concerns
plowing down on me, I had to go into a class and fill for a teacher
friend who was ill. When you
feel overwhelmed, it is difficult to bring yourself to the point of
I decided the class
was not responsible for my dilemma.
I drew together all the vigor I could muster. In the process of the lesson, before
I even knew it was going to happen, God put a statement in my mouth
that literally shocked me.
He spoke through me,
If God does not want you doing something, He can just remove the
desire to do it. Satan, on the
other hand, constantly places obstacles in front of you to throw you
At that point I was
almost shouting with joy. No one
knew why, but I did. We were facing
obstacles. We were not having
the desire to minister to truckers removed from our heart.
I was probably the
happiest broke individual in the department. I was still broke, but I had purpose
that never left me from that day.
The kids went home with friends who provided meals for them and
Carol and I enjoyed a meager lunch at home.
The very next day I received a check for $200
from my sister who said that God just laid it on her heart to send me
money. My sister was in
California and it took several days for that letter to get to me. God had everything in place even
before I knew how broke I was.
Did that mean He
would handle my lack of stamina as a driver as well? What could He do to get me to
Alexandria? Did He know my need
before the problem existed with the air conditioning system?
Trust has always
been a staple in my psyche. It
was not difficult for me to say I trust God. He has responded so often for me for
whatever was needed. But
? It seems I had put Him in an
inescapable position that could only be explained with failure.
Robert needed me to
succeed the kids needed me to succeed the chaperons needed me to
succeed the host churches needed me to succeed.
Our home church
needed me to succeed. Most of
the dollars expended for the choir trip came from our home church. They invested in these kids and
expected a spiritual return.
I needed me to
succeed. If ever I needed to
have a God I could trust it was now.
Tired was not the word anymore.
It was sleepy. Mix a need
for sleep with being tired and you have a person suffering from
fatigue. Fatigue is a killer!