Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Prayer That Went Flat!

The old '67 yellow VW bug moved right along that morning as if it knew the importance of the mission:  to open the State Legislature with prayer.  Just a short distance from the Harbor Tunnel, however, that little "yellow canary" began to hum and to sing, and then to wobble and shake.  A flat tire!  No problem.  It could be fixed quickly and I would soon be on my way and make it to Annapolis on time.  Unfortunately, my teenage son had borrowed the lug wrench and forgot to return it.  Now what?  The last exit before the tunnel was behind me--only an on-ramp was available to avoid driving through the tunnel with a flat tire.  So I backed down the shoulder of the on-ramp with the buses, trucks and cars going the right way giving me welcoming horn toots and other signs.

Frantically, I looked for some place where the tire could be fixed--and at last, found one.  It was a non-descript gas station that appeared to do small auto repairs.  I went in, extremely frustrated by then, and told the attendant my story.  "I'm on my way," I said, "to Annapolis to give the opening prayer for the State Legislature this morning.  Can you fix this tire right away?"  He looked at me strangely and with a slight smile, nodded and agreed to put on the spare.   The minutes were ticking by.  Finally the "bug" was ready to go.  I asked, "What do I owe you?" and thanked him profusely.  He replied, "No charge.  I can't charge someone who can come up with a story like that praying in Annapolis business."  I assured him that it was not a joke.  I really was going to give that prayer and would like to pay him for his trouble.  "No," he said, "you go on and make that prayer a good one.  Those government people in Annapolis need all the help they can get."

The VW bug purred on to Annapolis and I arrived a half-hour late, missing the photo shoot and the opportunity to get together with the law-makers before the session began.  Several security guards were watching for a "yellow VW bug" to arrive and escorted me into a parking slot, and rushed me into the building.  With great relief, the delegate who had invited me to give the prayer, was there waiting with bated breath.  She had called her staff together to help her write a prayer in the event I didn't show up!  It was time for the prayer--the session was about to begin.  I failed to compensate the nice fellow who fixed my tire, who had urged me to make a good prayer to help those people in Annapolis.  I fear that prayer went flat.  There were no signs then and no signs now, as far as I can tell, that there has been any divine guidance given those "government people."

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