On the Side of the Road


The teens were heading from the Mexico City area to a week-long summer camp in northern Mexico. It was an old van, but serviceable, and the sponsors thought it would be okay for a three-hour-drive on good enough roads. The big bounce over an unexpected rock in the road caused a worry, but they did make it to camp.  Kids poured out, to greet friends and the driver headed back since the children’s home needed the van.

Soon the steering began to feel ‘funny’.  Strange noises came from underneath, and the experienced driver knew it was not good. He prayed for God’s help and coasted off the highway onto a small dirt path that angled down and away, broke down, in the “middle of nowhere”.  A quick inspection removed all doubt.

The rock had damaged the drive shaft beyond repair; the bell housing on the transmission had busted from the vibrations; and the starter fell to the ground when he pulled to a stop.  This van was not going anywhere. It was old and had been imported from the US.  The particular drive shaft was hard to find even in the US.  Here it would be impossible to get all three parts together. The mission would be without a needed vehicle.

The driver scratched his head and thought about what to do next.  Thank goodness for a cell phone, he thought, as he made a call to let someone know what had happened.  He started to get into the van and wait, but it was hot—maybe there was some shade somewhere off the road.

As he headed down the path, he saw a dilapidated shack with a faded sign on the front, “Taller”, which means, “repair shop”!  He was even more surprised when he peeked into the dark space. Here was a repair shop with decent tools arranged on the walls.

He entered the shop and greeted the man behind a bench.  Friendly and helpful, the mechanic asked how he could help.  Together they walked up to the van.  After inspecting the damage, they discussed the problem and the unusual parts that had broken.  The mechanic rubbed his chin and sauntered back down to the shop.  He headed into a corner and began looking through various used parts.  Soon he picked a couple of things up and headed back to his customer.

“I thought I had these,” he said, as he put the correct bell housing and the exact drive shaft for that model on the bench.  “It may take a few days but I’ll get it running.”

Shaking his head in amazement, the driver responded, “Well, we’ll be coming through next Saturday. Will that be enough time?”

Jesus traveled from heaven to earth for one reason:  to seek and to save the lost.  Before he ascended to heaven, he commissioned his disciples to carry on with that work, and through them, he established his church. Jesus warned them, and us, that life would be hard but he would be with us.  Our travels will take us through good experiences, and times when we find ourselves broke down, on the side of the road.  We must remain faithful and seek wisdom to know how to handle both the good and the bad times. However if we remember when we lacked nothing—because He did everything—faith will overcome the fear.

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God bless you in your travels.