Stories From the Road Who is Out There?
A long time ago I was driving a lonely stretch of road in New Mexico and heading south on state route 54. I was in the middle of the night, and I had a full moon to illuminate my surroundings. This stretch of road is a mostly two lane roads with a few small towns scattered along its path. Truckers use this road quite a bit in all seasons as a short cut from I-10 to I-40 or visa versa. When you take this way from I-10 you also have to take state route 70 and go through White Sands Missile Range out of Las Cruces. Don’t forget to turn left on 54 in Alamogordo or you will wind up in Rosewell New Mexico.
As I said, the night was lit up by the full moon and it was about 50 degrees which made for great night driving. I was driving south on SR 54 out of Vaughn and not quite into Carrizozo when I felt something strange. Like something was inside the cab with me. Something spiritual. I had been driving several hours at that point, but I was used to the long hours at that point. I had been an OTR truck driver for nearly thirty years. As I looked up to the sky with its full moon, I could see a mountain range to my left and it was beautiful. On another trip I discovered what was in that mountain range by taking SR 70 through the Mescalero Indian Reservation.
It was a strange feeling in the cab for a little while that night in fact at one point the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I do not frighten easily and have seen many strange things in my life and felt strange things too. So, as I drove south, I wondered if it was a lost spirit of one of those Indian tribes up there on those mountains. I started to ponder what if I try talking to it? I did just that and said to whatever was in the cab with me, “Who are you? I did not get a response at first. So by this point thinking I was a little crazy to be talking to something I cannot see I said “What the Hell I will try another question. I asked, “are you an Indian from up there on the mountain? If you are make a noise one rap yes two raps no.” I immediately got a strong rap like someone hitting my dashboard. I guessed I was not crazy at this point but wondered why the hair on the back of my neck had not calmed down any. I thought now that I know this spirit was of an Indian tribe up on those mountains, now what should I ask it? I know what I will ask, I said, “Why are you riding in my cab tonight? What do you want to tell me? I had a long period of silence about 5 minutes or so that seemed like an eternity, so I asked another question and asked in the same format, yes one rap no two raps. I said, “Is there something ahead that I should know while I am driving tonight?” Again, no answer but this presence of evil or what I perceived to be pure evil would not leave.
So I kept trucking south and turned onto SR 70 to get to Las Cruces and as soon as I made the right turn the hair on the back of my neck went down. I felt comfortable again inside my truck again and wondered what all that meant. I guess that is a story for another day. That only happened once, and I have been through that area of New Mexico many times. But I never felt such a presence of evil before that time in my life and maybe that was all there was too it.
Pure driving is the sweetest thing that any driver can do. It is obeying all the rules of the road in whatever state or country that you find yourself in and just cruising along watching the world go by as you maintain your correctness in driving. No swerving, going over any dotted lines, moving from center to right and back again. It is unconsciously compensating for the inconsistencies in the road and not be surprised by it. It is peace between man and machine and God. Do not get my wrong here I am not advocating for transhumanism, anything but, because it is God who controls our peace, our emotions, our reflexes, and many other things when we are driving.
I can still remember the many routes that I drove in my mind’s eye even though I am not currently driving them. One of my favorite ways to get to Interstate 80 from Idaho going south on I-15 is to take US 30. What a beautiful drive and you are able to see many mountains, wildlife, small towns, curves, and avoid some treacherous hills on I-80 by doing so. Even in the wintertime it is usually open even though it is a little icy the road crews still maintain the road.
There are so many beautiful drives that I have taken to many to name. I used to drive Interstate 5 from Seattle to Los Angeles on a regular basis and there are many mountains to cross and weave through, but you get to go by Mt. Shasta and other beautiful canyons and open places as well and go over Shasta Lake.
I love the north country for its beauty but have to live in the south these days because my body is rebelling the cold weather. When I worked out of Spokane Washington it does on a regular basis in the wintertime get into the negative numbers on temperatures such as -30, -60. It is a beautiful place to work out of and return to though and I did for seven years. Speaking of the Spokane area another great drive that I used to make on a fairly regular basis is from Spokane to Calgary Alberta Canada using the hwy I-90 to US 95 north to hwy 3 to hwy 2. Sometimes I would get all the way up to Edmonton, Alberta. I also got to drive from Spokane to Gary Indiana on a pretty regular basis and got to see a lot of Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconcin and Indiana. Sometimes I would drop down to I-80 but is was usually more congested and sometimes more snow on the roads.
All driving gives me peace because I need to constantly stay moving or in motion. Have you ever experienced the peace that comes from pure driving on a wide open road with no one around you except the machine and God? It is beautiful.
Wandering or Traveling Unknowingly
As I sit here today and study the map of the places that I have been and by doing that it brings back many remembrances both good and bad of the times and some people that I encountered. Sometimes I wonder will I ever stop moving? By the way, life moves much to quickly anyway without moving too fast through it and only later be able to smell the roses so to speak.
So I starting thinking what is all this traveling and moving about anyway? What was I searching for? Did I find it? What I come up with is this: Peace and yes I found it but not the way I thought. I found real peace when I made Jesus Christ my Lord and He is my savior from all the stuff I have done. Now I have peace especially when I travel or wonder about which I am still able to do from time to time. My job as a truck driver affords me daily travel and I have peace even in driving in the rush hour traffic. I did not have that peace before and what I was searching for then I did not know that I even needed it. Imagine that I don't know everything and still wonderfully and fearfully made by God for this life for His purpose not mine. It's perfectly okay to wonder and travel even in the wrong direction, as I have done, as long as you finish well.
What is Most Important?
In this world there may be many important things that grab your attention but would it be worthwhile if you heard from a person who changed history on what is important in life? Life comes with challenges that we all face as persons with our own autonomy, but what is wisdom for this age and ages of the past regarding what is important? Is who said it important too? If so the greatest thing that was every said is found in "Mark 1:1-8, where John the Baptist is calling from the desert and saying "Repent!"
I would say that in today’s age and troubles with “corona virus,” and so many other things that are distractions are not of the same importance. The most important point in this life is what Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."(John 3:5a,b)
I would say that this would be the starting point for all eternity, but it is what Jesus said to Nicodemus in his search for the truth. Nicodemus was a very religious man but missed the most important truth about being born of the flesh through our first birth and of the Holy Spirit in our second birth to help us live this life for God's glory not our own.
I lived without knowing this truth for thirty-three years of my life and now have lived with knowing this truth for thirty-four years of my life. I can testify that knowing Jesus through the Holy Spirit that lives within me by making Him Lord in your life is the most important point in living this life on earth. It is His will to be done on earth, not ours!
Please don't just take my word and witness of this truth please seek the truth or Him on your own and discover it for yourself.
One Snowy Day: Miracles Still Happen
I had driven this stretch of road many many times and could almost do it in my sleep, thank God I was not sleepy this day. The stretch of road I am referring to is Interstate 90 about ten miles before the Interstate 90/94 split. As you come into the Billings Montana area the road changes in elevation and drops down into a valley. As you leave the Billings area and head towards the split in the two interstates it drops down again and rises up on the right like you're on the side of a hill as you enter the split. To stay on I-90 you must stay to the right and go up a ramp because you will be on I-94 if you go straight ahead and wind up in Eastern Montana and North Dakota. When you stay to the right and take the ramp I-90 cuts to the south through the Crow Indian reservation and travels into Wyoming and South Dakota.
This day was especially cold and although the snow plows were out and about I had not seen on for quite awhile because the roads were cleared of snow and beginning to ice up, even though they had put salt and gravel on the roads earlier when they cleared the roads of snow. As I came into this valley of ice I was very aware of the greasiness of the roadway so I slowed down more in my 2000 Peterbuilt conventional tractor pulling a fifty-three foot trailer behind it. I had some weight on the trailer so it helped to anchor me to the ground. The roadway instantly had iced up from what I was driving on just a few minutes earlier and I looked over into the median strip to my left about a 100 yards out, I saw a salt shaker/plow upside down in it. So, I slowed down more but only using the lightest of braking motion because I did not want to wind up jack knifed in the median which could happen very quickly if I applied to much brake. Instead of using my foot pedal bake I pulled down on the T-bar for the trailer only brakes ever so slightly.
I still had to get onto the I-90 ramp and as I looked down the road to where it was about a half a mile or so, I could see some equipment sitting right where I wanted to go at the bottom of the ramp. In dry conditions as I remembered this ramp elevates pretty quickly at a 5% and curves to the right at about 30 angle while rising to the elevation of the connecting road. There is also a bridge right after the I-90 ramp connecting the westerly bound traffic from I-94 to merge into to I-90 east traffic at the top of the ramp. As I got closer to the ramp I could plainly make out two snow plows sitting side by side to clear the ramp. It looked like the ramp was effectively blocked by them and if I stopped I would surely jack knife right into them. I saw a patrol car sitting on top of the bridge at the connector watch me come closer and closer to the ramp. He might have been there for many reasons such as the upside down snow plow/salt shaker or monitoring the road conditions.
There was only one thing that came to mind in this Christian man and I knew how to ask for help so I called out, "Help Me Jesus!" I was directed by Him to stay to the left of the plows and I did so with his help. AS they saw me approach they ducked out of site and away from their plows as I passed by them doing at least 50 mph with their eyes wide open in amazement. Thank you Lord that problem was solved now to get up the ramp. As I attempted to downshift into a lower gear because of the incline I stalled the motor, something that does not usually happen. Instead of panicking I simply rolled the key off and restarted the engine and put it into gear I had selected when it stalled, but I had to use a lower gear because of the loss of road speed.
As I traveled up the ramp with success and merged onto I-90 and proceeded to the top of that incline there was a truck parking area there off to the right and I took it. I stopped there for a few minutes to say thank you to the Lord again and I wondered if it was Him holding up the semi and trailer as we went up that ramp because I didn't remember the road being that wide. I got outside of my truck and did a walk around inspection and assessed the situation and it was very cold and wind at the top of that mountain. So I got back into the truck just in time to hear another trucker on the CB radio say, "Let's Go (company name)" and I said. "I'll be right behind you." We traveled together for a few miles through some wintery roads into Wyoming. I pulled off for coffee in Buffalo and we parted company as the other trucker went on toward South Dakota. I found a parking spot and instead of coffee I rested. Thank you Lord Jesus for miracles that still happen today when nothing else will do. I am reminded by something my uncle Walt said to me, who lived in that area and traveled to South Dakota on a regular basis. He said, " You cannot be a trucker for very long and not experience the grace of God and the power of God when running down the road into all the things that we encounter. I definitely agree with him.
I first heard these words in a rock & roll song by the Byrds back in the sixties, yes I am telling on myself here. The words that I am speaking of are:
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven-
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace. (Ecc. 3:1-8) NASV
When I first heard these words I sang them and had no idea that they came from the Bible. When you hear the truth you know it, and when you sing the truth it stays with you. These words are still with me to this day as I go through yet another season of my life.
I am realizing that before I can start a new season I must put the old season in the rear view mirror so to speak. That is a driver's interpretation anyway and that is what I have recently had to do. Has anyone else had to do this? I would love to hear how this happened in your life. As we look at the words above they fit to every season I have gone through in life. I think all of us can relate to these words in some way.
The point is that these words are true and there is no way of escaping that fact no matter what you do, because the truth is the truth! But today we are led to believe that everything is relative to us even the truth. If we hold onto to the truth we will see the untruth or lie in that statement. Just like in the words above once I was a kid and now I am a grown up, even more than that I am a grandpa and even a great grandpa now. When we live by the words of truth we begin to gain God's wisdom and not just the world's wisdom. We must then apply the truth we find in our lives or it is of no use to us to just have knowledge we must walk it out in this life we are given and we only live once.
In life there are the season's above and we must learn to put the old or the past in the rear view mirror and continue on our journey in this life into the plan or purpose that God has made for just us and no one else. I wish you well my friends and neighbors and keep up with the pursuit of truth.
Sometime, somewhere you will run into nurse ratchet, she is lurking somewhere close to you. She is the nurse who does things her way in her time and you had better agree or else. If you have been admitted to a hospital or ever dealt with a medical office, say by going in for an appointment you will run into her at some point. You may falsly believe that she does not exist at this facility because everything is running so smoothly and everybody is so happy. But you would be wrong because it was not her shift when you visited, or she had the day off as rare as that might be, or somewhere she was inflicting her ways on some other poor individual out of your sight. But she is there and you will know it when you run into her and she says "We don't do things that way," even though you have already talked to others at her facility and have did things in easier ways. She has a grin, even if you are talking to her on the telephone as I did today, you can feel it she is happy that she has messed up your day and your plans. Nurse Ratchet is a displaced individual that should be doing something that does not involve other people or in a very limited capacity off in a corner somewhere. What nurse Ratchet wants is for everybody within her atmosphere to adhere to her plans and do this immediately.
Childhood is Brief
It seems like my childhood passed right before my eyes it went by so fast looking back at it now. But then it seemed to last an eternity and I thought that I would never get through it. As I look back at the memorable times with my family gatherings on holidays and the ” Now I lay me down to sleep” prayers stand out the most. Why I ask myself? I think it was because even though some family gathering were hard, it was bearable because there were others I could share it with. From the beginning of my life I knew that their was a God or someone more powerful than us and that there has to be a reason for life. All of creation screamed this in my face especially as I got older. The prayers helped reinforce this idea of a creator of all, but it did not provide a clue to the purpose of my life. Only now looking back at my childhood can I see the designs my loving God had for me and how He was shaping me to be the person that I am today. I thank God childhood is brief because parts of mine were almost unbearable but God got me through all those hard parts by his strength and using my family and others that crossed my path to help Him help me. I did not really know God at this time just about Him and with all the troubles of life in the city it was hard to see outside my problems. But now I see so clearly that my problems are so small compared to others I have encountered. I had so many plans back then of what I wanted out of life and what I was going to grow up to be. It is laughable to think back at some of those thoughts but my purpose eventually showed itself as I learned to drive and explore our world. It was like discovering what I was made for and it is still that way today. Thank you Lord for giving me the desire to drive and to help others with their needs while doing it for money or volunteering it is the same it fills my heart with satisfaction.
*Originally posted at my blog "Can You Imagine."
Writing For Who?
One thing I know I am not writing for anyone else but me these days because all I can write is my journal. But that is a good thing because if you can put it down on paper you can look at it, read it out loud, examine why you wrote what you wrote and so on. So I write, write, write everyday something in my journal and most times it is about what I have learned that day from my Lord Jesus. You see the first thing I do is read His Word and try to get a grip on my path for the day as He directs. Somedays I either didn't get His direction or just choose to do my own thing instead. But the point is I keep going and do not give up.
Like the other day I was journaling and I asked myself about a dream I had and what it might mean to me and is this a dream that God is giving me or did I just have too much pizza? It was about a period of my life that I kept dreaming about so I wrote in the journal "What's this about Lord?" I wrote down my conclusions then left it for a few hours but not more than that. I have found the answer and wrote it down too after it just popped into my mind from seemingly out of nowhere. But I know who put it there.
Waiting on God’s Direction
Sometimes it seems to take forever waiting on God's direction, other times it is a simple restatement of what He has already told you to do. In this case it was the later. I now have direction and in this case He just reemphasized what He had earlier told me to do but with more detail. In order to hear what God says you must be listening. I know that sounds too basic but these days when there is so many other things that vie for our attention it is hard to hear what He says even when your listening.
It is that still, small, voice from deep within that has taken me this far in life and will get me to the end where I will one day meet up with Jesus, God's son. So onward Christian soldier I am continuing to do what He has called me to do and part of that call is writing about what He has done in my life. I am also going to take a step of faith, not of chance, and put in an application for something that I have never done and see what God does with it. Thank you all for your encouragement and listening to what I have to say, I hope it helps somebody.