What Prayer Can Do: Fuel for Thought

He prayed for guidance in dealing with a friend's boneheaded business decision. A miscue of his own provided the answer.

By Daniel Schantz, Moberly, Missouri

As appeared in

All morning I’d been stewing over a friend’s bad business move, one that affected me too. Should I confront him? At this point I never wanted to speak to him again. How could a smart guy do something so dumb? I thought. Finally I prayed, God, I need your guidance. Show me how to handle this.

“Don’t forget you promised to fix my car,” my wife called from the kitchen.

“I’ll do it today,” I said. Maybe the long, messy job of replacing her fuel pump would take my mind off this problem. I went to the garage and grabbed what I needed: red five-gallon gas can, plastic siphon, work light... I’d need to pick up a special wrench at the auto supply store.

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I checked the fuel gauge and estimated the amount left in the tank. It would have to be drained. I guessed five gallons. This will take forever, I thought, as the siphon slowly dripped gas into the can.

I waited, angry thoughts about my friend filling my head. I’ll run to the auto supply store and be back long before it’s finished.

I found the wrench easily at the store. Standing in the checkout line I started thinking again. Only this time it was about my own decision.

The gas was flowing slowly when I left, but what if it sped up? What if there were more than five gallons of gas in the tank? It could be spilling onto the floor right now.

Suddenly I envisioned all the potential fire hazards in the garage: the furnace that could light at any time, the hot work light lying on the floor; even the garage-door opener could send out a spark if my wife turned it on. I’d made a terrible mistake!

I tossed the wrench onto the counter and rushed out to my car. Back home I found the can overflowing and a 10-foot puddle of gasoline spreading across the concrete. Luckily I was able to sweep it out of the garage. I didn’t rest until it was all cleaned up.

How could I have done something so stupid? I thought.

Now I knew how to deal with my friend: with understanding. Everyone makes dumb decisions sometimes. Even “smart guys” like me.


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Thank you for this story. I was angry too and disappointed to my son for making such stupid mistake that cost him all his savings. I have been fuming on how could he do such a thing. Fuming with his stupid action, I remembered my mistake that cost me a lot. So now I learned to be gracious too, forgiving and understanding. Blessings to you Daniel.