Written September 25, 2016
I heard the news. The headline was hunting down some story about driverless vehicles. There was no reason right to me that thought this was a grand giant to get awed about, but that didn’t stop the story. On my way back the day previous, I planned to go to the cardlock fuel place not to obtain fuel, but to check and see there was enough oil in the truck I steered. What actually happened is another story waiting to be told; so, I will tell it.
There was something missing that morning, hidden from my view. I arose from bed, fumbling a little through the dark, careful to go wide around the deacons bench on the right at the foot of the bed, and the orange upholstered chair to the left. In the kitchen, I reached to turn the left front burner to three, where the small cast iron frying pan heated slow; and, after filling it, the red kettle to the highest high, bringing the water to a boil on the right rear burner. I did not notice the hidden item absent as I prepared fried potatoes, mushrooms, and eggs added to top it (a mini Hobbit first break fast); packed my lunch into the brown and torn backpack; and, in between somewhere, followed my bathroom route through that smallest of rooms.
I was still blind to it as I made my way to what we emloyees call “the yard,” after the designation by the employer. As I walked to the truck I was granted that day, I reached into the side pocket of my new pants to check the time. It wasn’t there. My cell phone, covering for the clock I carried with me, was absent, missing, not available to my touch. At the first I dismissed the essentials of this. Then, as though dropping into my mind, I saw it clear as the cloudless day we had one day last week.
I could see. I saw myself sitting in the black truck assigned me. I was at the place we always placed it: at the bottom of the too steep to drive up driveway that led to the work site. I was waiting. My ride up was not coming. I waited. Some more waiting still. He was not arriving.
I still wasn’t convinced I should go back for it. I was just going to go to the cardlock fuel storage stage, taking the left turn required. I took the turn, smooth, tires swishing on the pavement. I wanted to turn right following, but the truck took another hard left, as though it had transformed into a driverless black truck. After the merge back on to the high way, I looked down and saw my foot suddenly had grown lead in it, and we travelled swifter than usual. Another left, then another, into our drive. I walked with haste into the house, careful to soften my booted steps. When I entered the bedroom I heard it before I saw it.
My cell phone was ringing. When I snatched it from my bedside, I saw that he had called twice. When we finally got to hear each other, he told me some story about the need to get his truck repaired. He wanted to know if I was close to the yard. I needed to get a key for the trailer, so that while he was delayed, I could continue the work.
I steered the truck back to the yard. Just as I vacated the truck again, another opened up the locked office ahead of me. He knew exactly where the extra trailer keys were. When I left the office, I noticed another fellow standing there and approached him to converse. It was a cool morning as darkness broke away, and he saw, and asked if his jacket was in the back seat of the truck assigned me. Indeed it was, I told him.
I was led that morning. It was the story of Abraham’s servant all over again (Genesis 24). I was driven like a driverless car, my hands firmly placed on the steering wheel, compelled to take that hard left.
I was in the yard just then because I was shown waiting at the bottom of the steep climb.
I was there, and so was the fellow who opened the office ahead of me.
I was there, and so was the jacket-less one.
When I arrived at the work site, I drove up the too steep driveway in the truck that couldn’t make the grade. Amazing what we can see when we’re not blind. Led. Guided by Someone else. I was brought there so I could create a concrete wedge we’d started the late part of the day before, before the delayed one came too. That’s the story. It gets me wondering. How have you been led lately?