About five years ago, I was driving from New York to Michigan with a friend when we suddenly found ourselves fighting Mother Nature at its worst. The way we survived was a direct testimony to the power of prayer to lead us into a harrowing experience. It happened in the middle of winter.
See if you can find in the story which part of the HEAR Principle was used (be passionate, have fun, act on your intuition, remember who helped you).
We were on our way from New York to Michigan and had traveled 1,500 miles without incident when my friend and I decided to stop at a gas station in a small rural town in Canada. It was coffee time and a quick trip to the bathroom. Getting out of the car, I looked up at the sky. It was dark and threatening, almost ominous. The air was uncomfortably humid and lightly drizzling.
I went to the bathroom and ran back to the car. Although the gas tank was only half empty, I thought it better to recharge it. Normally, I would have waited until the fuel gauge gave me a warning signal. However, I filled up, paid with a credit card, and ran back to the highway.
To my delight it began to snow. But in the blink of an eye, it spun ever faster, drastically reducing visibility. In a matter of minutes it was getting dark and I was forced to slow down the car. My stomach clenched for the first time that night.
The roads were rapidly turning to ice, and the wind blew harder with each passing minute. It looked like I was flying a small aircraft by turbulence. We had to find a hotel quickly.
Eventually, my friend and I saw what we both thought was a sign for hotel accommodations just before an exit. The blinding storm made it difficult to see clearly, but we decided to risk it and got off the road.
About a kilometer down the road we saw a lone car in front of us. Thinking they were from the area, we followed them, but after a few minutes we realized that they were also lost. We had no choice but to go back to the other side.
Turning the car around the narrow two-lane road was no easy task. The wind was howling menacingly around us. The possibility of being swept by wind in the ditches was real – very real. With as much concentration as I could muster, I took a deep breath and spun the car back and forth, inches at a time, to turn around.
Suddenly the rear wheels spun like crazy.
It was a sick feeling. Despite the danger of sinking further into the snow, I kept rocking the car until the wheels finally caught and the car miraculously moved forward.
We went the other way, my heart pounding. There was no sign of life in the ghostly white landscape. My friend convinced me to get back on the road and maybe find a temporary shelter viaduct until the storm blew.
I looked at the gas meter. Incredibly, it was still full.
Bending the wheel and squinting, I tried to see through the howling snow to find the ramp, but it was almost impossible to see where I was going.
In the midst of all this, I somehow remembered that I was carrying in my right pocket a small stone with FAITH inscribed on the surface. My right hand shook as I reached down to touch the smooth, polished stone. Wrapping my hand around the stone, I closed my eyes and muttered, "Dear God, please take us back to the road. Please take us home now."
When I opened my eyes, my mouth dropped in amazement. We had reached the highway entrance! How we got there, I'll never know.
Clutching the steering wheel, I slowly climbed the icy ramp, relying completely on the small yellow spotlights that sparkled in the headlights of the car. Finally, back on the road, we continued the treacherous journey, driving at a snail's pace longer.
A few hours later, we saw several rays of light in the distance, looking like a small, bustling city. I breathed a sigh of relief.
However, as we approached, we saw that it was not a city – it was a bunch of cars and trucks stuck in the ditches (on both sides of the road) with their headlights illuminating and crossing the snowy night sky!
At this point, past and present problems have completely disappeared from my mind. I found myself mentally forgiving everyone who had "wronged" me in the past. I unleashed all my resentments, anger and ego-related problems. My biggest concern that night was coming home alive. Never before have I done so much mental cleansing in one night!
Nine hours later, our tired, bleary eyes saw the most beautiful sign we ever saw:
BRIDGE TO USA, 27 MILES.
We were at home.
Who says God doesn't know how to give you a good cause for mental cleansing?
He even paid for the gas. The charge never appeared on my credit card!