Ed. Note: Jerry, our Rock-n-Roll Czar, looked particularly tired this week at actionchurch. When I asked him about his gig the night before, this is the story he told me. Sometimes God “shows up” in even our most disappointing and trying times.
A few days ago I noticed the SERVICE ENGINE SOON light came on in the bus. Right at that point I should have taken it to the garage and had it checked out. I didn’t do that. Instead, I checked the oil and water, filled the levels and thought I had corrected the issue. Friday comes and I hop in the bus and head to Oak Orchard in Delaware for the weekend. The ride down seemed fine and I did not notice any different noises or problems. After the show on Sat night as we began to pack up for the trip home, I started the bus to cool it off for the ride and I could hear the belt starting to squeal. Right at that point I got a sick feeling in my stomach. I knew if the belt broke, I would be stranded. My only thought was to get back home to PA. So, off I went. I listened for the sound of the belt getting worse and hoped it wouldn’t. But as you might have guessed by now, it did. As each mile passed and the belt screeching got worse, I began to pray “God, please just get me some where that I can pull off safely. It was right about then that I felt the belt break and everything got eerily quiet. The battery light came on; the check engine light came on, the temp gauge started to move and in a few minutes had reached the RED zone. That’s when I saw the sign that said Chesapeake Service & Rest Center 4 miles. “God please let me get there,” I said. I kept rolling and kept praying. Even thought is was 2:30 in the morning on I-95 driving a bus that was in serious trouble, I didn’t feel alone. I was talking out loud and felt as if I had a passenger riding with me. Then I was at the entrance ramp to the truck center, I had made it. I also realized at that point I had NO BRAKES or STEERING. I got stopped and turned the bus off. The smoke and steam rolled out from under the hood and chassis like it was on fire. The attendant at the truck stop came out and said “are you on fire”. No just really overheated. The serpentine belt had broke. “Ah” he said, “you aren’t going anywhere now” I laughed and said, “you’re right”. He went on to say, “you seem to be taking this all pretty well” I thought about it for a second and said, “It could always be worse”
I called my wife Ruth and she seemed to be waiting for the call. She answered right away and said, “I’ll leave right now to come and get you”. After watching the sun come up, I lay down in my bed at 6:00 AM Sunday morning and was glad to be home. Later that day we would go back to the rest area and get the truck towed back to good ol’ PA. The tow truck driver said, “you know, it’s good you broke down when and where you did, cause if it had been somewhere else it could have been much worse” Right then it hit me! Our next trip was New York, 4-½ hrs. away. The entire band would have been with me. We would have missed the show, let people down, the band’s name would have been trashed and we would have lost a lot of time and money not to mention still having to tow it home and get fixed.
God was doing the planning. God got me to the rest area instead of breaking down on a back road in Delaware. God made it possible to get home. And God knew that even though breaking down at 2:30 in the morning is not much fun, it was better now than later! GOD KNEW!
As for me, I learned to pay attention the lights on the dash. I learned it can always be worse. I learned that we are never really alone. And most of all, I learned that if we “Let GO and Let GOD” things work out for the best even though we may not see it at first.
I’ll get ready for our next show, our trip to New York and “another story from the road”.