And It's Still Saturday Morning with Larry-Boy
(Announcer's radio voiceover: "When we last left our thawing heroes, the windshield was starting to defrost. But wait! What's that?! A warning light glows on the dash. It's the fuel gauge! How much gas is left? Will it be enough for an 80 mile round trip? A 60?? Or just enough to make the 4-lane??? And will Uncle Denny get to work on-time???? Stay tuned for our next exciting episode of "Saturday Morning with Larry-Boy!")
Thaaaaaat's right. No idea of how much gas is left. I keep Larry-Boy at half-a-tank during the winter so I can stay warm and comfortable until the tow truck arrives.
Most of the time, anyway.
But not today. Great.
Larry-Boy sneaks out onto the some-what deserted 4-Lane and begins the 1/2 mile trk to the gas station. I'm dancing on the windshield washer thingy, squirting fluid as the wipers flap rapidly, squealing like piglets. This makes an interesting semi-transparent film that allows brief, fleeting glimpses of the outside world.
I set the cruise control on "glacier" and crawl down the highway. I inch past the Auto Parts store. The newly-installed hi-tech LED sign flashes the temp. 2. Oh goody. Dropped 9 degrees in 10 minutes. Thank you, Canada, for the mid-April gift.
Arriving undented at the gas station, I miss hitting the pumps, and stop with Larry-Boy's left flank near a pump handle. I leave the motor on, hoping the windshield will defrost before lunch.
Now back in his day, Larry-Boy was a stud. He has all these bells and whistles that don't tweet and ding like they used to. One of these options was the locking gas cap door with interior release.
I push the release button and get out. I stand in front of the gas cap door. It hasn't popped out. I try to get a finger in there to pry it open. Nope.
I walk to the driver's door, pull it open, punch the release again. Walk back. Nope.
Walk to the driver's door, pull it open, punch the release again. Repeatedly. Punctuated with muttered threats and observations.
This time I grabbed a ball-point pen lying on the floorboard. I walk back.
And now I have half of a ball-point pen. Glad the ink is froze.
I stand facing the slowly glowing horizon. I have things at home. Things that dent metal.
I climb back inside and run Larry-boy home, the windshield greatly improved.
I park Larry-Boy on the curb and go inside. Yeah. That'll work. I grab the mother of all screwdrivers and the biggest hammer we own. I head outside, armed with bludgeoning tools and an attitude.
Prying the door open enough to get a shot at the latch, I apply a full swing to hammer-screwdriver-latch and....."Open Sesameeee". The gas door pops open. I sneer at the gas cap door and the offending latch, feeling a rush of male dominance. I close it.
It locks again.
I repeat the above steps but this time I look inside. There's this plastic thinga-ma-jig that grabs the latch. This is the object that feels my fury as I channel my inner Thor.
"You shall latch NO MORE, foul thinga-ma-jig!"
Stanley's hammer, not Thor's, smashes the offending gizmo into three non-functional pieces.
But now the gas cap door is open at a 90 degree angle. Like a fish's fin when ya pull 'em outta the water. Huh. A couple of slams do nothing but hurt my hand. Now I see it. A spring is holding it open. The hammer is still in my hand. And again, I hear Asgard calling.
"You shall spring NO MORE, foul..."
Now the gas cap door closes flush...but not square. It droops a bit toward the hubcap.
I fly Larry-Boy back to the gas station. Bailing out, I quickly insert the pump nozzle in a now accessible filler hole and lock the trigger open. I lean against the cold fender, watching the dollars soar as the gallons crawl.
And I'm feeling sorry for myself.
Whatta lousy morning! All this stuff going wrong and where is He?! Why did He let all this junk happen, eh? What was He think-
I feel led to look to my right, past Larry-boy, the parking lot, the miniature golf course, and the Dollar General store.
The partly-cloudy dawn is in full-bloom, an explosion of pink, orange, purple, and gold. The sky is glowing with glory. And I swear I hear Him say -
"I made this for you. Just wanted you to see it. Enjoy."
I walk back from paying the clerk and stop for one last look before climbing in. The sky has gone white and yellow, the new day already heading for that first coffee break.
If I hadn't been locked out from my gas cap, I would've been driving to work looking at nothing by grey, dark clouds. A grumpy older guy heading southwest and never knowing all the beauty and grandeur behind him to the northeast.
I would've missed a blessing that changed my morning.
All things do work together for good when we trust Him.
Especially if we drive old, dark green cars.