The Beatles, a VW Bug and lessons learned

Alyssa breaks down on the way to L.A.

The Beatles, a VW Bug and lessons learned

Anonymous Person, Writer

Let me start by informing you all of the horrendous events of my Saturday. It all began when I decided to go to UCLA to visit a high school friend with my roommate. My roommate, Abby, bless her, invited me to ride with her and her friend to UCLA for a day visit. We chose Saturday (the hottest day of the week at 113 degrees) and hopped into her 1968 VW Bug which possesses no air conditioning or even a functional gas gage.

Aside from the blistering heat and unholy L.A. traffic, we were having a grand old time blasting the Beatles and feeling the hot wind on our faces. When Abby suddenly pulled onto the shoulder of the road, I was confused only for a second until I saw her attempting to start the car. Then I knew.

There we were, in East LA, rolling down the nearest freeway off ramp, which for some reason leads into a residential area, and within seconds, we had gone from a grand old time with the Beatles to pushing the car to the nearest side street.

Realizing we’re out of gas, we start asking everyone who drives by for the nearest gas station. We finally get pointed in the right direction by the man whose house we parked in front of, and he also offers us a gas can (“It’s a God thing!” we said) and we started our 3 block trek in the tremendous heat.

The situation wouldn’t have been so exhausting if the first pump we tried had actually worked and filled our can. Or the second. But neither worked, nor even the third or fourth! At last, the fifth pump we approached dribbled out the promised gasoline. But it was at this point we realized that the three block trip back in 113 degree weather with the five gallons of gasoline was going to be another adventure altogether. And we were right.

I chose to carry the can in my arms instead of by the handle because of the weight. This decision meant that the breathing hole on the dirty can was splashing gasoline onto my face and down my arms and shirt. Covered in sweat, dirt, and gasoline, we finally made it back to the car to fill the tank and be on our way.
To ice the cake, we got lost in L.A., spent 45 minutes on the way home trying to find a gas station so the situation wouldn’t be repeated, and had the most frustrating experience at Burger King (the man running the drive thru had an attitude that made us back out and go somewhere else.) However, light can be found anywhere.

We got to see our friends whom we missed, learned what to do in case the gas tank dries up, and were shoved into situations that only God could get us out of. We were forced to stop planning out our day, our agenda—our lives—and ask Him to help us. We had to stop pretending we could handle everything and realize the danger of the situation and our own helplessness. Only by God’s grace did we get back to Biola safely. Only by His grace were we shown how the bustle of our lives was affecting our relationships with Him.

A piece of truth that I keep close to me is that trial and adversity are God’s signs of correction. Hurt and pain are a cause of sin—be it yours or someone else’s—and things going wrong, or the feelings that cause us heartache, are God’s reminder that we’re doing something wrong. We have a standard to live up to that will bring us closer to Him, and each time something goes wrong, it’s God’s reminder that things can be better. They will be better.

There are plenty of gory details of my Saturday that I chose to exclude from this post, because in the end they don’t matter. What is the sin of a man against another man compared to the sins we daily commit against God?

Sometimes things have to hurt really badly. Sometimes we have to hit the bottom before we even realize we aren’t at the top. In the terrible example of my Saturday, I know that truth lies with many, if not all of you. Things go wrong, pain stings, and ultimately, who do we have?


After we filled our gas tank, Abby tried starting the car. After about ten minutes of no success, I stopped her and prayed. I’m not saying the car started because we prayed first, but I do think it started after that because all God wanted was for us to remember Him. Maybe He had been trying for a while and it took His hand physically stopping us from forward motion for us to see it. He wants to be the fuel that drives us forward, not the second thought after our plan of finding fuel fails.
He loves us. What else can we ask for?

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