God Takes Care of Fools · 5 May 2018

There is a saying that says God takes care of fools. I am an obvious example of that saying’s truth.

The actual quote (or misquote according to some) is attributed to Otto von Bismarck and says: “God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America.” Well, I am not a drunkard nor am I a country, but God certainly has a special providence for me. Therefore, I must be a fool.

I have come to these two conclusions (that I am a fool and that God has a special providence for me) based on my own follies and God’s protection from myself. My latest proof of these conclusions happened just the other day.

I drive an old truck. It is a great truck. A little loud, but it works. And I have put some of my own blood sweat and tears into it to keep it running. You might even have read about some of my episodes of working on said truck. At any rate, there are some quirks that I have just not dealt with. At least not yet. The chief of these quirks is that it has a part that works like a broken clock. It is right twice a day. Or in the case of my truck, it is right twice a tank of gas.

The part in question is, of course, my gas gauge. It reads full when the tank is full. Then, after a few miles it reads empty. (I have had the misfortune to be able to know that it is actually correct on empty too.) At any rate, I usually keep good track of how many miles I drive so that I can know when to fill up the tank. After all, if I just filled up when the gauge read empty, I would be at the gas station every other day. So naturally, I keep track. Mostly.

The way I keep track of when to fill up the tank is actually with a little notebook that I keep in the glove box. I write down the date, the miles, and the gallons each time I fill up. Ostensibly, it is to keep track of my miles driven as well as my miles per gallon. After all, I know if my fuel consumption per mile goes down, I am either in four-wheel drive or I need to work on my engine. I also keep track of the data because it is something my dad used to do. He did it, so I do it. And have done so since I have had my own vehicles.

Even though I may have dubious reasons for keeping track of the miles I drive in that old truck, I do need to keep track for the practical reason. I do not want to run out of gas. Not again. (At least I have a cell phone now.)

But back to the story.

Normally, I fill up the tank every two weeks. Or about every two-hundred and fifty miles. That leaves me with plenty of gas in reserve. About three gallons. Well, the other day, I knew I needed to fill up the tank because I was on my second week of driving. But I also knew that I had driven some extra miles. Little did I realize how many more.

I was driving to work after putting on some of those extra miles the day before. I knew I had to fill up, but figured it could wait until after work. (Actually, I forgot to check my notebook that morning even though I knew I needed to.) I was on the last hill up to the school when I felt something odd. (This is where I knew that God really does take care of fools.) The odd sensation was that I gave it gas and the engine hesitated. Just a bit. This happened twice up that long hill. I thought it odd the first time, but the second time (when starting from a stop), I realized that I had felt the hesitation before. Then I realized. I was running out of gas.

If you have never run out of gas before, it is an experience I would not recommend. Unless, of course, you like to blog about your own foibles and follies. At any rate, I did not want to run out of gas again. I figured that I could get to work, but I would not be able to start my truck when I got in it to go home. So I turned around.

At the very least, I figured that if I ran out of gas on the way down that steep hill, I could coast into the gas station I knew was at the bottom. Thankfully, I did not need to do so. I got there and filled up. Over sixteen gallons in a sixteen gallon tank (and nearly 350 miles). I knew I had dodged a bullet. Rather, I knew God was watching over me. Watching over the number one fool. (Or at least one of the top ten.) So I thanked Him.

Life may indeed be a highway, but I am glad I am not stuck on the side of it waiting for somebody to bring me some gas. And whether Otto von Bismarck said it or not, I am certainly glad that God takes care of fools like me.

© 2018 Michael T. Miyoshi

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