I hit the road last night at 10 o’clock. The destination was El Dorado with a 7 year old boy and his 7 month old sister. The trip there was uneventful, as the kids just slept and the thunderstorm was still getting started farther south. I headed for home at 1:30 AM with a cold rain to wake me up as I got gas. As I got back on the interstate the lightning was still behind me but coming up fast. I hit the cruise control at 79 but it wasn’t long before the storm was on me and visibility was lousy. I could see the lines on the road but not much else and my wipers couldn’t keep up. It was 2 AM and I was still trying to decide if I should wait it out at the rest area near Matfield Green or just keep going. Since I was driving a brand new company car I thought it best if I didn’t wait for the hailstorm that might be lurking in those dark clouds I could barely see in my rearview mirror.
North of Emporia the storm let up enough that I could see again but the lightning was stabbing at me from all directions by then. That kept me awake for another 30 minutes but by 3 AM I was only keeping one eye open at a time. Technically, I shouldn’t have been out there at all because I had already done a 6 hour drive earlier in the day and I still had a 7 hour drive coming up later Friday. Nineteen hours on the road in a 28 hour period is what we call bending the rules for the sake of children in an emergency. They’re okay and I made it home, so God must have been looking out for me again.
In fact, I know he was. As the clock ticked closer to 4AM, I was hanging on to consciousness for all I was worth. The energy drink had done its job for the first 5 hours but if I did it again I would never get any sleep before the next drive. I chose my most reliable method instead, loud rock music. The best part of a new car is the free 6 months of satellite radio and this night it saved my butt. I was switching back and forth between Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville station and Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Radio but even satellite has ads for satellite radio and I was getting desperate so I spun the dial even further and landed on Hair Nation. Ratt was playing something I remembered from way back when but it was the next song that saved me. Jackyl, with Jesse James Dupree, was playing The Lumberjack. I don’t know how I missed this song when it came out 20 years ago, and it was awesomely bad, but it did a great job of keeping me awake. The words were unintelligible but when he played the chainsaw, my spine tingled.
Apparently, Jesse Dupree and I are the 2 people on this planet who love the music produced by chainsaws. My love for that instrument dates back to my summers in Minnesota listening to my Grandfather crank up the volume on his Montgomery Ward’s model. My feelings for the man I was named after might have something to do with this deep bond but who cares. Chainsaws always inspire me to get up, go outside, see who is cutting and join in. No real man can sit idly by and not want to get his hands on that instrument of destruction and the sweet sounds it makes, not to mention the beer that gets consumed after the work is done. After hitting replay numerous times, I was fully awake, laughing out loud at the utter absurdity of my situation; dead tired, dark of night, bad weather and miles to go before I slept but happily humming along with The Lumberjack.
Who else but God could possibly have known what I needed at that exact moment in time? The whole night seems like God’s best work. He used the full moon to light my path on the way to El Dorado. He threw lightning bolts that were close enough to be entertaining without being dangerous to my health. He kept that drunk driver on her side of the road long enough for me to get around her and finally, when I needed it most, he gave me chainsaw music and sat next to me as we both shared a laugh. If that’s not God moving in mysterious ways, I don’t know what is.
©Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.