043I - The Tire Guy

"In the Midst of Thee" - volumes 1 & 2 contain 200 favorite Glenn Rawson Stories - at: History of the Saints . org

From “In the Midst of Thee” – volume 2.

I have lived long enough, as I’m sure some of you have, to see my own faults and failings manifest themselves in my adult children. And I want you to know that’s a humbling experience, especially when you know that nothing you can say now is ever going to fix it.

I heard once that someone said more religion is caught than taught. I believe that. How does that work? Well, let me show you.

After an already long day at work in western Wyoming, I was on my way home in a large truck. Just a few miles north of Palisades Reservoir in Idaho, I all-of-the-sudden felt the truck jerk.

“What was that?” I thought.

I scanned the gages; looked down; I didn’t see anything, and the truck was running normal[ly] again, so I just went on. About a half a mile later, I happened to glance in my mirror and saw billows of smoke rolling out from under the back axle of my back trailer.

“Uh-oh!” I pulled over, but it was too late! All four tires on the back axle of my trailer were as ruined, flat, and deflated as my ego. Evidently a piece of pressed board had been dropped on the highway; it had flipped up when I passed over it, hitting my brake line and tearing it off. Well, that caused a loss of air pressure, and with a loss of air pressure, the brakes locked up and turned the tires into smoke and mush.

Well, with the help of a kind sheriff’s deputy, we moved the impudent beast off the road, and a guy was dispatched from Les Schwab Tire[s] in Idaho Falls to come and get me on my way. I sat in the cab of the truck to wait and take stock. Now, it’s getting dark. The temperature is dropping like a rock; it’s cold. Dark heavy clouds hang over all the mountains, and to make matters worse, I’m tired, I’m all-alone – I had the mood of a pickle sucker. You can imagine! And to make it worse, I just finished eating a cold supper.

And then the tire guy pulled up. I don’t know what I expected, but out of the cab stepped a very ordinary looking fellow. I could tell by his clothes that, yea, I wasn’t the only one who had a long day of work! Nonetheless, he greeted my cheerfully.

He took one look at the situation, and after seeing my blunder I expected some comment about the “lose nut behind the wheel” – but the comment never came!

He went to work immediately, and while he worked we chatted. I made some comment about coming all the way out here. He looked up at me with a grin, and let me know that he been on over-time for some time, but there was not the least impression that he was put-out by having to come and rescue me.

“I like you!” I thought.

I began to notice after a while that – you know, there was not a word of profanity or vulgarity [that] came out of that man’s mouth. In the whole time we were there, he said not a single negative thing about another person. He was cheerful; he was positive; he was quick to laugh. There was no arrogance; there was not the least bit of any kind of an attitude of being better than anybody. He was as down-to-earth and genuine as any man that I have ever met.

He made some comment, just in the course of conversation, about driving to church on Sunday. And no, it was not dropped as a lead-in to a proselyting pitch. It was just a simple statement of fact. When he learned that I was a little bit on the religious side myself, he shared a sweet faith-promoting experience that had happened to him and his wife. It was tender; it was appreciated; it was wonderful. This is a good man, I thought, a very good man.

May – you have to know he was not trying to impress me. He saw nothing in me to impress – trust me! And he had no idea who I was; I never told him my name.

Once I was repaired, we shook hands and I drove off. A few miles down the road, I – I took stock again. My mood and my attitude were completely different. I felt happy, cheerful; I felt warm inside.

It was Rex. The spirit of the Lord was with him. He had cheered my soul and built my faith – a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ in dirty clothes changing tires on the side of the road. Is there a lesson there? You bet there is!

I’m asked all the time where I get my stories. Well, this is where I get them – from the wonderful people I meet and watch. You must know, my friend, that you cannot hide what you are behind the words you say or the clothes you wear. Every person you meet can feel your spirit for good or ill. If you would be a missionary, then you must be Christ-like. If you would lead your children to Christ, then you must give them a light to follow. And lastly, with some humor, be careful. You never know whose watching, and the power they have.

Rex – thanks! You’re a saint, brother.

And to your employers, give this man a raise! He’ll do more for your sales than all the free beef you can pitch!

Glenn Rawson – November 5, 2006
Music: 25 Beloved Hymns of Christ – Michael Dowdle, #6 (A Poor Wayfaring Man), #10 (Come Follow Me) (edited)
Song: A Breeze Among the Branches – Enoch Train