Picture the biggest vehicle you can imagine and fill it with people. Now multiply that by forty-three, divide by five, and add the square polynomial of the hypotenuse of your bedroom door’s horizontal width. Your answer should be something around eight passengers in an eight-passenger vehicle. One of our main vehicles, Eddie, is a red Ford that just so happens to meet that description.
Fill the back of Eddie with a television screen, camera, speaker system, everything else to run an informational meeting, remember all eight seats being occupied, and you have a picture of Eddie when the back left tire popped in the middle of the interstate. Well, the middle of the interstate isn’t quite accurate. We were on the far left lane of the interstate, which meant to get to a safe place we had to cross four lanes of annoyingly constant and ridiculously speedy traffic. In short, we were stuck.
Then, a van appeared from heaven (or maybe just from somewhere behind us). As dozens, probably hundreds, of other cars sped by on their busy way to wherever they were going at 8:30 at night, this van didn’t. It slowed down to our speed, which was maybe five miles per hour, tops. While going this incredibly slow speed, this van shifted one lane to our right*, as if it were about to pass us. But it didn’t.
Maybe the driver took pity on us. Maybe they weren’t going anywhere important. Maybe they wanted to see our hilariously full vehicle for as long as they could. Whatever the reason, instead of passing us, they slowed down in each lane to give us space to limp over. Eventually, we made it to the other side of the interstate and partially up an exit ramp before we finally pulled to a safe stop where State Farm could help us. And then, just as suddenly as it had appeared, the van was gone. Maybe it was called back up to heaven.
I don’t know why the driver of the van decided to help us get to the side of the road. I don’t know why they immediately drove off before we could thank them. But I do know that, out of the many who saw our plight, that driver was the only one who decided to help us. It was something relatively small to them, but it meant something incredibly big to us.
I guess the main thing I learned from this is that making someone’s day doesn’t take an entire day. I too often forget how easy it can be to bless others and make their lives better. I get my mind so wrapped up in thinking that it takes something big from me to change people’s lives, when it usually only takes a minute. What makes the difference is when we take those minutes of opportunity and use them. And, when that becomes a habit, those minutes can add up.
*And now, for a brief lesson in ironic humor - while writing this in Sandy the Moose (our borrowed van), traveling from Ohio to Illinois, we got a flat tire. No joke.
//Allen Ramsey//2016 Ambassador