Jul 20, 2017

Lessons from A Busted Gas Pipe

So, Cathy and I were headed up to the cabin with the family to spend the fourth of July eating and basking in the lake.

On the way to the cabin, Cathy mentioned to me that she had our mechanic do a temporary fix on the gas pipe of our Ford Ranger.

She added that he wasn’t sure if it how long it would last and that he would probably need to order a new part from the Ford dealership to do the repair correctly.

It was the “fuel filler neck hose pipe” assembly in case you wanted to know…the part that goes from the “fuel filler” (gas cap area) to the gas tank…

And, we wouldn’t be able to tell if what he did worked until we went to fill up the truck with gas. I looked that the gas gauge and was thankful that it was full!

I thought of the old acronym for Ford which is Fix Or Repair Daily. And I ought to know because I have owned several Ford products over the years.

The damaged part
Of course, in all fairness, all other vehicles that I have owned have also needed to be repaired at one or another…not just the Fords!

We made it to the cabin, enjoyed our time, and made several trips back and forth into town for supplies; but not gas.

One week later, on the way home, I mentioned to Cathy that we would need to stop for gas. She reminded me of the conversation from a week earlier regarding the temporary repair on the gas pipe.

I stopped at the gas station, swiped my card, removed the gas cap, inserted the gas nozzle into the fuel filler pipe leading to the gas tank, and depressed the handle of the gas pump.

At once gasoline poured out from below the truck automatically shutting off the gas pump.

I tried a second depressing the handle of the gas pump again and it once again poured out from below the truck automatically shutting off the gas pump.

I tried a third time depressing the handle of the gas pump again and it once again poured out from below the truck automatically shutting off the gas pump.
Not really our spill!

I said to Cathy that I didn’t think that what the mechanic had done was successful and then wondered what we were going to do since we couldn’t fill up the tank and we didn’t have enough fuel to make the eighty-mile trip home.

Cathy suggested that we drive as far as we could and then deal with it. I decided to drive to the nearest hardware store (which was on the way home) to pick up some sort of products to do my own patch so that we could fill up the gas tank.

On the way to the store, I remembered back in 1977 when a friend and I ran out of fuel at two o’clock in the morning on a country road somewhere between Grand Forks and Winnipeg. We had gone to Canada with great plans to sin as well as to run from the law…at least until things cooled off down in Grand Forks.

A sheriff found us stranded, gave us some gas so that we could drive to the nearest gas station, and then he woke up the owner so that we could fill up. We paid him in Canadian money and he accepted it and we (gratefully) went on our way.

If God could take care of me when I was not following Him, I had confidence that he could also take care of me now. I just didn’t know how.

When we arrived at the hardware store, Cathy got out of the truck to show me what was wrong. I noticed that the store was closed and decided that we needed to go elsewhere. But, just as we were about to leave, a man drove over from behind the store and asked what we needed.

Our hero's store!
We explained our situation and before we completed the story, he was on his back under the truck seeing if he could assist us. He was the store manager and had just closed the store and went inside to get some tools.

In short time the man came back and once gain crawled under the truck to figure out what he could do to at least allow us to put fuel into the truck so that we could get home.

Between the two of us, we were able to figure out a way to remove the filter and reattach the pipes and clamp the whole thing together. The man suggested that we meet him at the gas station just to make sure that we could put fuel into the truck.

We took off as the man went into the hardware store to clean up his hands and put away the tools. Soon, we realized that we had no idea where the gas station was and turned back to find the man who at this time was in his car and just about to leave.

The man suggested that we follow him, adding that he realized that there is no way we would know which gas station was the one that he was referring to.

At the gas station, he waited and watched as I was able to successfully fill the gas tank with fuel! Our repair had worked and we could fill up and head back home. The man even refused to take any money from us as he waved good-bye.

We got into our truck and were very grateful that the Lord had provided this person to assist us and how the timing worked out. Five minutes one way or another and we wouldn’t have had this intersection of need and provision.

Cathy called our mechanic and asked him to order the part and we headed home.

Praise the Lord!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.” (Psalm 147:1)