In March 28 IssueRussell County NewsBy Wade Daffron, Columnist
Years ago, when I was younger, I used to see bumper stickers that said, “God is my co-pilot.”
At that time, I didn’t understand or appreciate the significance of that saying.
I just pictured some long-haired, bearded guy in a flowing robe-with one of those fancy pilot hats-cradling the controls of a jumbo jetliner.
It seemed impossible to grasp the concept of God actually riding down the road in a car with someone.
I mean, really, if God was in your car, why wouldn’t he be driving?
Would he ever get speeding tickets?
And would he ever have to stop to ask for directions?
Just couldn’t picture God with the “pedal to the metal.”
But it’s surprising what you find in your automobile sometimes…
I had to get up early last Saturday morning to take my son, Evan, to Somerset for lifeguard training.
(I can’t think about “lifeguards” without thinking about “Livesavers,” and have craved some of those “Pep-O-mints” ever since…)
Anyway, it was up at the crack of dawn that day, and I just wasn’t up to it.
The preceding week had been beyond crappy.
The utter ignorance, arrogance and frustration of several different situations had caused me to seriously question my faith in humanity.
Oh, there was some bright moments-meeting some new friends, being blessed with their help and hospitality, but I was just at a “low.”
I don’t think I said ten words to Evan from the time we left the house to at least the Nancy exit on the parkway.
My mood was still bad, and my face was frozen in an angry, stone-like mask.
I was seething so bitterly that I could hear the sound of my teeth grinding over the car engine.
Earlier in the morning, I had half-heartedly prayed for some kind of solution, some kind of relief, some kind of answer.
I was beginning to give up and succumb to my unrelenting frustration when I heard, “This too, shall pass.”
Glancing at the radio, I noticed the dial was tuned to a rock station, and a song was playing.
I knew the song, and was pretty sure that line wasn’t in the song.
I looked over at my son-who was fast asleep.
Now, I know what I heard.
I heard it loud and clear-no doubt about it.
OK, then, so if I didn’t say it, and if Evan, my only passenger didn’t say it, and it didn’t come from the radio…
I slowly moved my eyes off the road, and to the rear-view mirror-fully expecting to see God smiling at me from the back seat.
That would be impossible, I thought to myself, because there’s so much junk, and so many car seats back there, He wouldn’t have anywhere to sit.
I didn’t see anyone or anything in the rear-view mirror, but just under my breath, I muttered, “God, are you there?”
I waved my hand in front of Evan’s face to see if he was awake.
Suddenly, I felt a wave of warmth come over me, and there was a very brief and intense period of quiet and calm.
All the tortuous thoughts I had swirling in my head for days seemed to rise into the air and vanish.
I gasped, and tears pours down my cheeks.
It was so wonderful to feel a “release,“-to not feel smothered in hopelessness and despair.
Call me crazy (I’ve been called worse), but I knew God was right there in the car with me.
Of course, instead of trying to speak with Him to gain insight and wisdom, I thought about things like, “Man, I hope he doesn’t look through my CDs,” or “Should I turn the radio to K-Love, or something?’
I held the moment, and the feelings, and as long as I could.
“Thank you, thank you,” I kept whispering.
As I approached Fishing Creek Bridge, I glanced at the warning sign about fog and noticed that it was, indeed, quite foggy.
All of the sudden, a huge ray of sunshine pierced the early-morning clouds, burned away the fog, and illuminated the entire area.
I heard, “See the beauty of all things He created.”
I looked around again-no one in the back seat, Evan was still asleep, a rock song was on the radio (but this time I switched it off).
Now, did I really hear that, or did I just imagine that, I thought to myself.
“Are we there yet?”
Evan woke up and was rubbing sleep from his eyes.
He looked at me, and I’m pretty sure he could tell I’d been crying.
“Are you OK?” he said.
“Yeah,” I said. “Man, you missed it.”
“Ah…it was just…great, really great,” I said, smiling.
You know what?
I don’t want you to “miss it.”
I’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to the Russell Springs United Methodist Church (“The Church at the Springs”) this Sunday (8:15 a.m. or 10:45 a.m.) for “Friends Day.”
I can consider you “friends,” right?
Now, I can’t guarantee you will have a great religious epiphany (because that‘s kinda between you and Him), but if you want to be around some fantastic people, and gain some insight into the church experience (trust me-I’m learning right along with you), you are more than welcome!
Please don’t worry or fret if you have children-there‘s a wonderful nursery and children‘s program. If they can handle the ever-growing Daffron clan, your children will be no problem, I assure you.
There’s also an outstanding youth program.
Nervous or even “scared” of going to church?
Same here-been there, done that, got a “church home” out of it.
Honestly, y’all, these are difficult times.
Many of us are confused, we’re concerned, we’re looking for answers, we’re looking for solutions.
This is the place to start.
You don’t have to trust me.
Hope to see you there.