The Suburban was loaded for the annual Christmas trek from Texas to Colorado. We joked about how we looked like the Griswold’s from the movie, Vacation, with our carrier on top of the car loaded, a rack that inserts into the trailer hitch piled high with coolers, and the inside packed with three teenage daughters, a teenage nephew, a tranquilized dog and some harried parents. We fought our way north as the kids competed to see who could turn up their iPods the loudest and completely annoy their mom.
After driving for nearly nine hours, we made a stop at a small North Texas town. We stopped at a Dairy Queen that had gas pumps in the parking lot – thinking this would suit everyone. My husband could fill up the car, we could walk the dog, use the restroom AND get ice cream. We all piled out of the car and headed across the parking lot to the DQ – leaving Dad to gas up the car and walk the dog.
While we waited for our order to be filled, I sent the two that already had their ice cream out to the car to try to cut down on the confusion and crowd. Within seconds, they were running back in laughing hysterically. Apparently, when they exited the restaurant they saw my husband start to drive toward them. (Later he told me that he wanted to save us from having to walk through the slushy puddles created by the
melted snow.) While they waited for him, all of sudden they heard a loud noise followed by the sound of metal scraping on concrete. They watched in absolute horror as he drove towards them with the gas hose dragging. He had driven off without taking the gas pump out of the car!
I turned around to see my husband walk into the DQ restaurant carrying the gas hose. The young workers behind the counter didn’t know what to do with the hose – they made ice cream cones and French fries and this wasn’t a regular gas station so they told him just to leave it outside. We quickly exited, watched my husband lay the hose down, jumped in our car and sped off – laughing until we had tears in our eyes.
My husband tends to be a bit absentminded. He never seems to know where his wallet or keys are and doesn’t have specific places to put anything. Because of this, no one seemed to think it was completely out of character for him to pull away with the gas pump handle stuck in his tank. They were a bit surprised when I did it!
I am fairly rigid in my “systems.” I start the gas flowing, put my card back in my wallet and use the time the tank is filling to empty the car of any trash. I do the same thing every time. I’m still not sure how I managed to drive off without replacing the gas pump several weeks later.
A few nights ago, a friend started out her conversation with me by asking if I thought it was a sign she had too much going on in her life if she drove off from the gas station with the gas pump in her tank. After chuckling for a few minutes, I told her about how my husband and I had done the same thing. Little did I know, my husband had done it again – that day!
When she said that she didn’t know what she would tell her husband, I suggested she tell him that she was in good company. Though, I did suggest she not use my name.
When we experience things in our lives – whether difficult or celebratory – it is important to know that we are not alone. That we are “in good company.”
When we have positive experiences in our lives, it is easy to share those. But, often, when we go through difficult times, we have to fight the urge to withdraw and isolate. If we isolate, we give room for Satan to attack us with fear, discouragement, false beliefs, anger, bitterness, etc.
The Bible tells us “not to forsake the meeting with fellow believers” for that very reason. We are to encourage others in the difficult times and celebrate in the happy ones.
The body of Christ is our support – our “good company.” Are connected? Do you have a community full of cheerleaders and sorrow sharers?