I know that God has been around, listening to our prayers, for a long, long time [since time immemorial, and before that…] but why is it that we Christians often feel the need to address the Almighty using phraseology which might have felt comfortable to Thomas More, or John Bunyan or William Wilberforce – but let’s be honest, sounds dead weird to 21st century ears???
For instance “Journeying mercies” – I have lost count of the times I have heard somebody praying for a friend who is about to travel somewhere, and beseeches the Lord to grant them journeying mercies. I know I have said it myself. Sorry, Lord what was I thinking? What on earth does that phrase mean?
At 2am Tuesday morning, I was praying, rather more simply ‘Lord get us back home to Kirby Muxloe safely’ The A47 is a long, and tedious road sometimes, with long stretches where there is nowhere to overtake safely, and a lot of roadworks and resurfacing going on right now. Bob was travelling on the bike, I was in the [non-reversing] Daewoo
There are plans to improve this route. But it is a long way from Cornerstones to Kirby and I knew I would need to stop halfway. But nowhere which required reversing!!! Bob and I agreed to meet up at the Guyhirn Sex Shop, as the car park is huge and I could turn a complete circle there.
I should explain that the GSS has changed in character – years ago it was a Little Chef – we used to stop there when the girls were much younger, on journeys home from my parents. Then it closed and re-opened as an adult store. We never visited it in those days!
But it didn’t do much trade- and closed down – then re-opened again in a more useful format. “The Coffee Tree Experience” It is right next door to a petrol station.
So after breakfast [and more prayers] I left just before 8.30am, with Bob [I thought] close behind. The car was going OK – although 1st gear was getting difficult to engage. I fully expected Bob to overtake me along the route, but he didn’t. I pulled into the [empty]car park, drove round in a circle and parked facing the exit – across two marked spaces. I went in, apologised for my strange parking, and ordered a coffee. The girl was very sympathetic to my car plight. A couple of minutes later, Bob pulled up outside. He came in, removing his helmet- and he looked a little pale.
“Do you have your phone with you?” “Err – no , I’ve left it on the passenger seat. Why?” Just after I had left, Bob realised I had got his wallet and purse in my bag. He tried to ring me, but there was no signal. The bike indicated he had used all the fuel in the main tank – and he needed to switch to the reserve tank.
The question Bob could not answer was this - How far will the bike go on the reserve tank?
He could not stop and refuel, as he had no means of payment! and he could not contact me to arrange to meet up. He decided he would just have to drive as economically as he could and hope he got most of the way to our pre-arranged rendezvous.
The answer to the question is exactly 50 miles
Which is the exact distance from Cornerstones to the Coffee Tree Experience- as he came across the junction and started indicating for the left turn into the car park, he ran out of fuel and coasted into a parking space! How amazing is that!
Bob came into the coffee shop, explained what had happened, reclaimed his wallet then pushed his bike over to the garage forecourt and filled both tanks! We were safely together again in Kirby by 11.30.
Prayers for safe journey answered. Having unloaded the car I drove gingerly round to the garage, who rang later and said they could fix it but it was a gearbox issue and they had to wait for the parts. Bob still thinks the clutch is at fault [the guy in the Norfolk garage said that too] We will just have to wait and see…
Right now I am grateful we are back safe and sound – and I guess God did show mercy to both of us on our journey along the A47.