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Years ago my boss called from Knoxville to tell me a co-worker and great friend had just lost his four year old son to a childhood illness.
He was a lovable little boy and everyone was saddened by the news. Even after being told the sickness would one day win it was a terrible shock
He was a truck driver for our company hundreds of miles away having lunch at a truck stop when he received the message; so he locked the doors to the truck, handed the keys to the manager, and left for the airport and home.
My boss, speaking so fast I could hardly keep up, said, "You will need to complete his run. I think you can do it and are familiar with our product...
I was working in Nashville that week, so he said, "We are sending someone to take you to the truck, and you will be going to warehouses in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas; and that's about all I can tell you. Good luck!"
I said, hey, wait a minute! But it was too late; he had hung up the phone.
It was an honor to fill in for my friend, but this was over my head, and without even the required driver’s license.
My only experience had been working with another driver for a few weeks to help with the unloading, and he had let me drive. At the time it was an amusing experience but I didn’t know it would someday lead to this!
Just before daybreak, we found the semi at a Truck stop near Louisville loaded with more than 30,000 pounds of product; clearly, more than luck would be needed.
I was young but having been a Christian most of my life had learned to pray; so I whispered a prayer that started and ended with, "Please!”
Getting the truck started and the first few miles were very awkward, but the things the driver had taught me were slowly coming back.
The first stop wasn't difficult to find, and to my surprise the people there were able to give directions to the next customer, 100 miles away.
They were all in the same business and knew the exact location of their competitors.
The people all liked the regular driver and even knew about his son's illness, and expressed their sympathies.
However, that did not stop them from teasing me: My shoes were too shiny; Are you old enough to drive a truck? Or,, are you really a truck driver?
I was having fun and looking forward to the other stops.The last customer in Kentucky was about 10 pm and then a motel.
The next morning there were five stops in Memphis, and I reached all of them on schedule; the last one around 1 pm.
But the rain was changing to snow, and the next three stops were 135 miles west in Little Rock; when I arrived there the streets had become slippery, and some businesses had closed. My last stop had waited only because they needed the product from my truck.
I finished a safety inspection on the truck and was by the door trying to decide if leaving was wise and worth the effort, or if I should go to a motel and sit out the storm.
Heavy snow was predicted all along my route: Little Rock - Nashville - Chattanooga - North Georgia - Knoxville; but leaving now was the only way to get home in time for the interment service.
The driver and I were close friends. We had the same interest in airplanes and gliders and would occasionally take his son with us.
When I was not with them and he saw an airplane fly over, would point to the sky and call my name.
My employer wouldn't mind paying my salary and expenses if I stayed, and, if he knew the situation would probably insist, (so I didn't ask).
Most of the drive to Atlanta would be Interstate; but from there I would cross the North Georgia Mountains into Tennessee.
The thoughts of crossing those mountains on a steep curvy two-lane highway in heavy snow were intimidating.
So, with my thoughts and the snow whirling, I prayed for guidance; then, confident of the answer, bravely said out-loud, I'm Going!
As I hurriedly climbed into the truck, a powerful and Spiritual voice said, "And I'm going too!"
The voice sounded like an excited friend who was expecting a “high five!” It was the Holy Spirit and He had
spoken so clearly that there could be no mistake.
No longer anxious or in a hurry. I sat quietly and thought about the last few days.
The Spirit had clearly wanted me to recognize Him as my friend. He had taken my inexperience and skillfully guided and protected me the entire trip.
To shorten the story, it was a long snowy drive home, but like the rest of the trip, was safe and on time.
The Holy Spirit was the greatest gift Jesus could have given His Followers.
Our beautiful Churches can lead the lost to salvation and teach the Bible but living a truly happy and successful Christian Life will only come from knowing and experiencing your friend the Holy Spirit, One on one.
Some may think the Holy Spirit is difficult to get to know, or constantly watching to condemn our sins, but this is not correct. If you are a Christian He is inside you, closer than your breath to be your friend in every situation.
That trip was a great step of faith for me; I will always remember the snowstorm hundreds of miles from home, and hearing the Holy Spirit say, "And I'm going too!"
"Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you," (John 16:7).
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart, (Jer 29:13, KJV)