My hubby John and I recently went camping in the Rocky Mountains. We were both looking forward to getting off the grid for a few days.
So imagine our disappointment when our SUV started losing power as we drove along the Arkansas River through the canyon. The roads were filled with S curves, traffic was bumper-to-bumper with eager campers and weekend adventurers, and places to pull off were scarce and far between.
We were pulling our 16 ft trailer behind us so this was not convenient. One minute we were gliding down the road like happy little campers and the next we were sitting ducks.
We were fortunate enough to find a place to pull over safely and then sat there for a moment in dismay wondering what our next move would be. We were still about 20 miles out from the next town where we knew we could find a mechanic.
The first thought I had as John hopped out of the car and popped the hood was how I had been wanting an adventure and life was now presenting me with one.
I remembered a coaching principle I learned long ago that said that things are always perfect even when they clearly aren’t, and this clearly did not seem perfect. I was a little surprised at how calm and peaceful I felt just beneath the rush of panicky thoughts that were beginning to form.
We had no phone service and I began to offer up silent prayers as my husband did his best to get us back on the road.
After about a 20-minute rest the car seemed to gain full power again and we were able to go a few more miles down the road before we had to pull over again.
Several people stopped to check on us and offer help and we pondered whether to continue towards our destination or try to get back home.
And then an angel dressed in jeans and a t-shirt came to our rescue. His name was Lonnie and he offered to look under our hood. After making a few changes with no improvement, he headed into town to see if there was a mechanic available, and we weren’t sure we’d see him again.
We were meeting friends at our campsite and they eventually caught up with us on the road. And then Lonnie showed up and announced that it would be several days before our car could be seen. And even though our friends were now with us, like a guardian angel he stayed at our side and followed us all into town.
As we limped into town Lonnie suggested we pull into the AutoZone parking lot, and we did. The news from the diagnostic machine wasn’t good but Lonnie paid no attention and suggested that we purchase a $13 fuel filter that he felt would fix everything. John was on the fence because we had just replaced the fuel pump and fuel filter a few months earlier but it was only $13 and we were looking at a very expensive tow home.
While John went inside to purchase the new part, Lonnie grabbed his tools and removed the old one.
It took Lonnie all of 2 minutes to install the new fuel filter and then John unhitched the trailer and took the Tahoe for a test drive. Fifteen minutes later he pulled up and said that the car was running perfectly, and it has been ever since!
We drove another 30 miles to our camp site, spent the weekend there, and drove all the way home with no further problems.
As we said our farewells to Lonnie that day John offered him some cash, which he flatly refused. This man had given up an entire afternoon to help us out and accepted nothing in return.
We live in a virtual world surrounded by technology and there are eyes everywhere that show us life from the convenience of our comfy homes.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy and am grateful for the technology that keeps me connected to friends and family all over the world but it’s nice to know that there are angels waiting to guide us when we decide to unplug and go out into the real world.