Chapter X  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. 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.


Isn’t that 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 now? 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. 


The following 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 together.


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 teaching.


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 off.”


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. 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!