These last few months have come with a few inconveniences with our vehicles. We are averaging one less than major issue a month for the past four months.

I say “less than major” because not one of the issues would I consider “major”. I will share them in the order that they occurred.

  • One night our family was on the way home from a short out of state trip and we ran out of gas. It was approximately 9:30 pm local time, dark and we gaswere about thirty minutes from home. Unbeknownst to us the gas gauge wasn’t working properly. We thought we had a quarter of a tank left but all of a sudden…sputter, sputter, sputter…done. I pulled the mini-van (yes, I am that cool) to the side of the road  and thought about what we should do. It didn’t look too far into the next town so I took off to find a gas station while my wife called the police for help. Well, to make a long story short, an hour later, I was back with a half gallon of gas at the same time the police showed up. We got home late that night.
  • Another morning I was taking my father-in-law to the dealership to pick up his car. We were cruising down the interstate when something fell off of the semi truck in front of us and I swerved to avoid hitting it with the tires but I still ran over it. There didn’t seem to be any damage. I dropped off my father-in-law and drove on to work. However, when I came out to the car that evening there was a big puddle of transmission fluid on the ground. I was able to get the car to an auto shop for service and my wife picked me up.
  • One Friday, soon after my son got his learners permit, he pulled into the garage and turned off the car…or so I thought. When I went to start the car the following Monday, I was welcomed with a dead battery. We were able to get it jumped within a few minutes and we were on our way. (For more on this see the “Watch the Road” post.)
  • More recently, I was driving home from work on the interstate and got the car a little too close to the shoulder. Well, there happened to be a couple of pot holes to welcome me. Everything seemed fine for a while but then I heard the loud ‘ker thunk’ that signals…flat tire. It had been a couple years since I had changed a tire but I got it done. As I was close to finishing my neighbor even pulled up behind me to lend a hand. 

Gas Tanks Run Dry and Batteries Die

It is noflat-tiret fun to have car trouble or to have to deal with these types of things. But this stuff happens in life. Gas tanks run dry, fluid leaks, batteries die and sometimes tires go flat.

The key, I believe, to getting through this stuff successfully is to have a positive attitude, do what you need to do to resolve it, and move on. In the end, it’s not that big of a deal. 

I was fortunate in each circumstance that I believe God was looking out for us. For example, in every situation we had good weather, I never lost control of the vehicle causing an accident, and we were never without a vehicle for more than a day. Further, this all happened since the Spring and as bad of a Winter as it was, it would have been much worse to deal with in those bitter cold months.

Additionally, neither of these events was extremely costly. The repair to fix the transmission fluid leak was the most but we had been budgeting for car repairs and had the money to get it fixed.


I have a formula I will share with you now and will also share with you again…C + A = R, that is, a given Circumstance plus our Attitude determines the Result. As I mentioned, it’s important to have a positive attitude through these situations. I like to call it ‘+attitude’ (i.e. “plus attitude”). Things just seem to go better when everyone keeps a level head. 

So, the next time you forget to pick up the milk on your way home from work or you get bubble gum stuck on your shoe or you burn a batch of cookies, just keep your head up, deal with it, and move on.

I would like to hear from you. Let me know in the comments what situations you’ve had to deal with recently. How did you handle it?