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When I woke up this morning, it was raining. Carol checked the weather report and said it had ... wait a minute. I better tell you what this is all about.

We visited my brother and his wife in Illinois, then visited our son, Jeremy, and his family in Indiana. While there, I received a call from a pastor in Maryland, so we went to southeast Pennsylvania and northeast Maryland to attend a church conference and made a mini-vacation out of it. I'll tell you about that visit another time. Interestingly, our unplanned trips often vie for top billing with our planned excursions.

Now, where was I? Oh yes: It was raining.

Leaving Gettysburg in the morning, we had a beautiful drive to Huntington, W.V., where we spent two nights. Preparing to leave Huntington, Carol said it had been raining all night, so I had the privilege of hooking up the trailer to the car in cold rain.

I like water, but the rain was cold. I was soaked, cold, and hands were a bit numb. It wasn't the happiest moment in my life.

I am not a complainer, and I seldom get upset. But let me tell you about this day.

It rained as we drove through Kentucky. Driving on roads with standing water is not the safest thing to do, especially while pulling a trailer in a howling side wind.

For some reason, I told Carol I needed to stop. So, we stopped near a Shell gas station and a McDonald's restaurant, and fixed our lunch. About 20 minutes later, we hit the road again. We hadn't gotten very far when we saw a terrible sight: A pickup truck and the trailer it was towing had been blown off the highway. The pickup seemed to be okay, but the trailer had tumbled. The top was ripped off, the sides caved in, and stuff was strewn all over. We missed that errant wind blast because we stopped.

Carol said, "If we hadn't stopped, we might have been there, too."

Another problem was the gas at several out-of-the-way gas stations. When my engine lost power and my miles-per-gallon went down, I realized those stations were selling either cheap or old gasoline.

When we reached western Illinois, about 25 miles from St. Louis, I had a strong feeling to stop for gas. I didn't need any at the time, but I stopped anyway.

A few minutes later after getting back on the road, we saw a pickup that was coming toward us pull over to the side of the road. The driver got out and ran to the edge of the road. I saw liquid and debris all over the 2-lane highway, and slowed down. Another semi had pulled over on the opposite side of the street, and two men were making cell-phone calls.

I glanced in the ravine and saw a semi laying on its side. The cab was upside-down, crushed against the trees, with a small car under it. It appeared that the car tried to pass one semi and collided with the oncoming semi. The truck outweighed the car at least 10 to 1, and landed on it as they both flew off the road.

Would we have been a tangled ruin if we hadn't stopped for the gas I didn't need?

We finally arrived at the RV site in St. Charles, Mo., and I had a tough time getting the water connected without leaks. I finally made it, but it was dark, and I was cold, tired, and hungry. I asked myself, am I having a bad day?

Several thoughts began flooding my mind. You are wet, but you have a warm trailer. The wind didn't blow you off the road. You got poor gas mileage, but you didn't run out of gas. You arrived safely without any accidents. You stopped the water-leak, and you have a warm bed.

With those thoughts, I realized that I had a wonderfully blessed day. Unknown to me, God had given me the impression to stop each time, and we were safe because I responded to His instructions.

Our heavenly Father loves us and is always attempting to help and protect us. As Francis A. Schaeffer taught: God is here, and He is not silent. First Corinthians 2:16 lets us know that God's thoughts are available to us constantly. So, I wonder: How many accidents happen because people don't listen to and respond to God?

-- S. Eugene Linzey is the author of 'Charter of the Christian Faith.' Send comments and questions to [email protected] Visit his website at www.genelinzey.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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