Wednesday, January 28, 2009

150 miles in 25 hours or

my trip home from the State Evangelism Conference....

Oh My! What a week this has been!

I left immediately after church on Sunday evening to drive to Oklahoma City to attend the State Evangelism Conference. There was a forecast of a possible ice storm, but they wouldn't say how big or severe it was going to be. We decided to "press on".

By 10 am Monday morning, it was sleeting. By noon, the conference organizers said that it wouldn't effect the schedule. Just after lunch, they announced they were going to cancel the rest of the conference after Monday Afternoon's Schedule. They invited everyone to stay for a free banquet that had been prepared to honor some folks who weren't able to show up. (there's a sermon in there somewhere)

I was traveling with Dale Clayton, pastor of FBC, Porter. A third had dropped out on Sunday, because a church member died and he'd have to do the funeral. (he had no idea how fortunate that turned out to be for him[not that the guy died, but that the third pastor didn't go with us to OKC]). We stayed at Dale's parents' house in Del City, as they were in Texas for the winter. We barely made it home Monday night. We had decided to leave mid-morning on Tuesday, hoping that would give time for the street crews to "do their thing".

Well, turns out, it wasn't near enough time.

Normally, the 150 miles from Wagoner to OKC takes roughly 2.5 hours or so. After 5.5 hours, we had only made it to Henryetta. We had to pull off I-40 to "use the facilities". Big mistake.

A semi-truck had mis-gaged the entrance ramp back onto I-40 and had gone off the road, blocking the entire ramp. We needed to move out of the way to wait on the truck to be moved, so we entered an access road near the entrance ramp. Big mistake.

An SUV was also waiting there on the access road and had parked near the center of the road. We had to go around him and went off the main road onto the grass. I got out to push and was able to get us about 10 feet up the road, then got stuck again, when we tried to move for another pickup with trailer trying to do the same as us.

They got out and helped us push the van until it got going. At this point, the sleet, freezing rain, and fog were really bad and we decided we better not try to go on. We decided to spend the night in a Super 8 motel that was at the end of the service road. We got stuck 3 more times before we got there.

The motel had a room for us and we needed to pull around to the room. Meanwhile, another guest was stuck in the parking lot and we tried for 20-30 minutes to get him into a parking place. (It really was THAT slick). Then, when it came our turn to park, we got stuck AGAIN.

Fortunately, there was a restaurant next door that stayed open late enough for us to have supper and breakfast again this morning.

This morning, as we were getting ready to leave, we noted that the hotel manager was towing people out of the parking lot with his 4x4. One other 4x4 truck was so stuck in the parking lot that even the manager couldn't get him out. We prayed about it, pulled out of our spot with a little slippage, then put it in LOW 1 and drove right up onto the access road without missing a beat!

The ride home was terrifying, both yesterday and today. God watched over us; we saw many, many wrecks, but we had no road problems.

So, after 25 hours, I finally made it home! (and I am sure glad to be home!)

Thanks to all who prayed.


M. Steve Heartsill said...

There are several sermon ideas in there...oh, you'll have fun unpacking them over the next few weeks...

Glad you are safe and sound...we held down the fort while you were away!

Michael said...

I was wondering why we weren't getting a weather update. Turns out, you were living it!

Rick Boyne said...

I would have rather not participated in any of this. It definitely wasn't fun!

Anonymous said...

My inlaws left TN in the nick of time to get here in Ft. Lauderdale. It must be bad up north, because this isn't good enough. They are hoping on a cruise ship tomorrow to go even further south! They say they want to go past "warm" and find "hot."

B & J S

Anonymous said...

What about the parable about going out in the highways & byways and for people to come to the banquet since the invited guests wouldn't come....