The Devil's In My Pocketbook...And Other Things I Learned From Grandma (Part 2)
Gas Pump Adventures
Several years ago, (and by several I mean probably 15 or so) my cousin and my Grandma were out together and Grandma noticed that her car was in need of gas. She pulls up to a gas pump and my cousin (who was probably around 12 at the time if that old) hops out of the car to pump her gas for her. He quickly notices that she has pulled the car up on the wrong side so he tells her that she is going to have to pull around to the other side so that he can get to the gas tank. Grandma puts the car in gear and literally drives the car in a full circle ending up directly where she was at first...with the gas tank of the opposite side of the car from the gas pump.
My cousin, no doubt giggling a little, tells her that she is still on the wrong side and that she will have to pull the car around to the other side so that he can get to the gas pump. So, she once again puts the car in gear and makes a full circle around the pump ending up exactly where she started...still with the gas tank on the opposite side from the pump. By now, my cousin is laughing full out and Grandma is quite confused. Finally, after at least one more failed attempt to circle the gas pump (I'm not certain how many tries it took because I was not there) Grandma realized what had happened and got the car's gas tank next to the pump so that the gas could be added. But, her misadventures with that gas pump are a part of our family lore to such an extent that if ever I am driving a car and pull up to the wrong side of a pump (which has happened to me on more that one occasion), Grandma's adventure is the first thing I think of. :-)
It's funny to think of Grandma driving around that gas pump in circles. Each time she thought she was in the right place and each time she had ended up exactly where she had started and with the same problem she had started with. But as I think of her predicament (and I must admit that I have done the same thing she did before) I am reminded that we often do similar things in life.
How many times have you found yourself running and running only to find that you keep ending up in the same spot with the same problem you started with? We seem to get stuck in something that we know is going to be a problem, but each time we try to change it on our own we end up in the same place we started...and with the same problem. And it could be a myriad of things that causes us to feel this way. It could be financial issues, a destructive habit, a relationship that is harmful in some way (physically, mentally, or spiritually), or any number of other things. Some people run when they hear God calling them to something outside their comfort zone. Some run when they realize they need God, but are afraid to trust Him.
But thankfully, we do not have to stay in that same spot. Just like my cousin was there to point out that Grandma was on the wrong side of the gas pump, God is right there willing to help us through our struggle and when we follow His guidance, he will lead us out of that circle and help us continue down the path He has chosen for us. But unlike my cousin, God will never laugh at our problems. God understands our struggles and wants only to reach out and say, "This way...follow me. I'll show you the way out." Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
We often try to run away from our problems, but that tends to bring us back to where we started. All of our running in circles gets tiresome. What a blessing to know that it isn't necessary. We need only to run to Jesus and let Him be our guide. And with Him leading us, though the path may not always be an easy one, we can trust that He will lead us down a path that is exactly where we need to be...and we can say goodbye to that frustrating circle where we had once found ourselves.
It's another lesson God has taught me through my Grandmother's life.