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  • Writer's pictureA Musing Pastor

The Gospel and a $1.50 screwdriver

If I earned a nickel for every time I was faced with a frustration and fumed throughout it, I would give Elon Musk a run for his money. (Okay, probably not, but I could be retired right now.

Tracie and I planned a brief get away to a State Park east toward Mifflinburg (Arrive 3 PM Sunday and leave 3 PM Tuesday). We pulled out after church and arrived at the park about 2 PM. We couldn't technically set up till 3 PM and that also meant those who might be in our RV spot might still be present. They were. A brief gurgle from me and then I said, "No worries, they have another hour to get packed and pull out.

I pulled to the cul-de-sac and began readying simple things so we could get backed into our spot when it opened and take advantage of our short stay (I didn't want to waste any time unnecessarily).

At one point, Tracie went for a short walk through the camping area, and I heard a voice from the back of our RV ask if we were waiting for site 24. I looked up to see the young lady who had been at site 24 and I responded, "No, we're waiting for site 23." She said, "Okay." turned and walked back to #24.

I fumed as I watched the people in site 23 seemingly unconcerned that they were an annoyance to our plans. In fact, they didn't seem to be packing up their RV at all. Can you hear my inner voice gurgling some asinine statement of judgment toward our thorns in the side in site 23?

As I gurgled within, I was interrupted in my fuming by the bearded man in site 24 who approached and asked me an unusual question. "Hi, I was wondering if you do any of your own mechanical work on your RV?" I said that I did a few little simple tasks. He uttered, Oh, ok. I am trying to pull out of site 24 and I think I have an electric brake hanging up on the RV." He continued, "When we arrived here a few days ago, the wheel was unusually hot, and it seem to be locking up."

At this, my inner gurgling stopped, and I heard my dad's voice uttering some proverbial kick in the back side to me to be helpful and with that we walked to site 24. I asked the man his name and he said, "I'm Frank and we're from Hershey." I mentioned the distance they had to travel back home and he nodded. I offered my name and we set about to diagnose the brake problem. Frank asked if RV brakes have any adjustment procedure and I half suggested there should be a small inspection hole on the back of the brake hub. Frank said he had already looked in the hole and could see no way to adjust any brake.

By now, I had forgotten the slow to move folks in our RV site 23 and began focusing on brakes, adjusters, and proper tools to offer a fix. As I crawled under Frank's RV, I looked and sure enough there was a inspection hole. Frank offered me his light and I peered in to see what looked like an adjuster. I asked Frank if he has a standard screwdriver and he jumped up to get me one. Unfortunately, he returned with a screwdriver that receives the small screwdriver bits and the shank of the screwdriver wouldn't fit in far enough to engage what I believed was the adjuster.

With no success with his screwdriver, I mentioned I had one in our RV and walked over to retrieve it. Upon returning, I stuck the screwdriver into the hole, lifted the safety keep, and began to turn the adjuster a little. As I clicked the adjuster, Frank tried turning the hub and it continued to drag miserably. For about 2 minutes we tried to loosen the brakes to no avail. With a subtle change of angle on the screwdriver, I began to turn the adjuster and it actually began to work. Frank became animated and spun the hub that was now spinning freely. He said, "You're getting it!"

With the brake shoes loosened and the wheel placed back on, Frank snugged the lugs and we talked about mechanical things (aka 'guy stuff'). I mentioned that we were from Lewistown and he immediately said, "I have a family member living in Reedsville." I said, "Small world." and he nodded.

By now, the gurgling monster within was now snoring and totally unconscious. As Frank gathered his tools and set about to leave for Hershey, I asked him when his birthday was. He looked at me oddly and said, "December." I handed him my screwdriver and said, "Happy Early Birthday." He shook his head no and said, "No, I can't take your tools." I urged him to keep it and that I had others. He relented and thanked me. I mentioned he might still need it to get his rig home.

He laughed and we parted company with him excited to be able to get on the road and me feeling happy to have been a help.

Quite a long story of yet one more unsavory moment in my life that God redeemed for a purpose far beyond the gurgling monster within.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion

and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are

comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the

same sufferings we suffer. (2 Corinthians 1:3-6, NIV)

My daily reminder from the Lord is the bajillion times God has wanted to gurgle at my failings but instead offered grace and mercy. Good thing to! Randy has been comforted more than he deserves. To be able to help a fellow out with some simple mechanical tasks and to share a $1.50 screwdriver with him is another godly lesson in 'patient endurance' offered to a gurgling fool from a benevolent God. Thanks God.

"A Musing Pastor"

PS: It turns out the folks in site 23 were waiting for site 24 to open so they could move their RV one space and allow us to have our coveted site 23. I'm sure God had this arranged for instructional purposes. Thanks God 2.0!

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