This is not the first time in my life that I have paid too much for gas. When I was 12 years old, our family left New York to vacation in Miami, Fla. The family’s Ford Country Squire Station Wagon was loaded with two parents, three children (myself, and older and a younger sister), and a good sum of the appropriate Florida-vacation luggage.
I recall one fuel stop in particular that, for me, was especially troubling. As my father confidently exited the driver’s seat, he instructed the attendant to, “Fill it up with whatever you got.” The smiling worker stretched the hose of the center pump as far as he could. Fortunately for him, the hose connected to the premium grade of gasoline was just long enough to reach the family wagon. I quickly yelled for my father’s attention. I felt it was my duty to inform him that he was about to pay a whopping 44 cents per gallon for gas! This was some 10-12 cents per gallon higher than I had ever seen.
In my 51 years, I have had the opportunity to see gas prices make the spike from those harmless amounts to over a dollar … then to over $1.50 per gallon. More recently was Hurricane Katrina. She was the storm that taught everyone from OPEC to the oil companies that although Americans may panic and complain, we will in fact pay almost anything the demand for the product that fuels our cars.
Here’s what I think about the current gas prices: “What I think doesn’t matter.” If gas goes down to a dollar a gallon or rises to over $5, my opinion on the matter will change nothing. However, I can do a few things that could make an impact on me and perhaps a few others, as well.
Although it is not very practical in rural America to walk, most of us could do more of it. We can combine our trips and carpool. We can plan better and make fewer trips for milk and bread. Stewardship is always something that God honors. Some of you remember, as I do, the gas crunch of the 1970s. This was the decade that introduced us to the now infamous gas lines. We lived and we survived those times — and we will survive this time, as well. Worse things have happened in our country.
And ever before me is that fact that God is in control. As long as I have that knowledge, I fear nothing.
The Apostle Paul said that he had “learned the secret” of having plenty and not having enough. What was the secret? “I can do all things through Christ who empowers me.” Jesus said. “Take no thought for tomorrow what you will eat, where you will live, or what you will wear.”
Here’s yet another quote from Paul, “God shall supply all your needs according to HIS riches …”
Everything is under control in the spiritual realm. God was not caught off guard by these rising prices. The political parties will point the blame, and the stock market has already begun to respond. Again I say that we should do our part to conserve, but don’t be anxious about it. Trust God to care for you. He can still afford to buy fuel.