When I left work today I realized that I had to get gas or my car would run out before I got home. I wasn’t being stupid about it, but I didn’t stop this morning because I knew I had time to do so after work.
My mind was racing because, well, that’s what it does. My brain was filled with thoughts of the workday and a meeting about the school year for next year and then I was thinking about home and lesson plans and my blog and genealogy and, and, and…
I pulled into the gas station, ran inside and gave the guy working there “$20 for pump 10, please.” Then I power walked back to my car, got back in and continued to drive home.
Have you noticed the step I forgot to take in my madcap pursuit of the afternoon?
About 10 minutes later I looked down and the yellow you-better-watch-out-because-you’re-going-to-have-an-empty-gas-tank-soon light was shining brightly up at me.
I never put the gas in my car. I paid for it and then just left. WHO DOES THAT??
I raced back praying that a miracle had occurred and that no one had pulled up to that particular pump. But it showed a previous purchase of $86.02. Obviously, $20 of that had been my $20. But what kind of a vehicle holds that much gas?
I ran inside and explained what happened. They felt sorry for me. So I handed over the $15 I had left, walked slowly back to the car and with the precision and stealth of a jaguar, I put gas in my car.
Well my prayers were answered, but not in the way I expected. I had prayed that no one had used my $20. Then I tried to let go of the feeling that I was an idiot. Everyone makes mistakes and it’s not like the shock of the century that I lost focus and forgot to do something.
On my way back home, there had been a 5-car crash. An SUV was on it’s side, facing the wrong way. Two different front wrap-around grills (that’s not what they’re really called but you know what I mean) were in the road. Glass and stuff from the cars were strewn everywhere.
However, I was not strewn everywhere.
Had I not had to go back to the gas station I would have been in that very same spot at roughly the same time as the accident. My prayer was answered, but in a different way.
Losing $20 possibly saved my life.