A Defense for Driving with an Empty Tank of Gas

A couple of weeks ago I put out a survey on facebook. I asked what type of person are you? When you drive do you put gas in your car when the tank is half full?  Do you put gas into your car when the bell rings that the tank is almost empty? Do you assume that when the bell rings the tank still has about 40 mile of Gas left before the tank is absolutely empty? I am the type of person that feels that when the bell rings that the  tank has that 40 miles left. I have to start thinking about putting gas in car the next few days.

Last Monday I drove about 40 miles to give a woman the anointing of the the sick. She was the aunt of a friend of mine. As I was leaving her house I heard the bell ring that my gas tank was just about empty. I had to make a decision; do I put gas in the car before I get on the highway?  Do I trust that there is still about 40 miles of gas in the tank? Well, as you guessed it, I went on the highway without filling up the tank, trusting that I would make it to the Exxon at the exit to get home.

I made it to the Exxon. When I pulled into the gas station, I realized that I had a good 3 miles of gas in the car to spare. As I was about to pull into the line to get gas I check my facebook messages and saw that a Catholic radio station in Buffalo was going on the air at 4pm. I checked my watch and saw that it was one minute before 4pm. I called the number and found that I was on the air in Buffalo. I was talking on the air with the radio station with the tank being filled. Don’t worry I was in the car while talking.

I suddenly found myself on the air. The priest, at the other side, asked if I had any prayer requests. I mentioned that there was a young woman who just lost a baby and asked if he could pray for her. He mentioned that he would pray to St Thomas Aquinas for 5 days as well as saying one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be each day. His words sounded anointed.

I am now in the third day doing these prayer suggested by the priest in Buffalo. The purpose of this little story is to show you the benefit of driving with an empty tank of gas.

If  I had not gone on the highway with an empty tank of gas, I would not have been at that Exxon at 4pm. I would not have seen the message from the catholic radio station in Buffalo. I would not have talked to the priest and tell him about the woman who lost the baby. Finally, many prayers would not have been said for the woman and her baby.

In so many ways the world is a better place because I choose to drive with an empty tank of gas.

Blessing and Love

Fr Stefan

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3 thoughts on “A Defense for Driving with an Empty Tank of Gas”

  1. On the other hand…. running out of gas disables your car. Power steering and power brakes will be gone and you can only coast to a stopping place, safe or otherwise. A car quitting in traffic endangers its driver, other drivers, and whoever comes to your assistance later. On a busy highway, it’s especially serious. Instead of prayers for the woman who lost her baby, there might have been prayers for those injured or deceased on the highway. Purposely driving on near empty has wider consequences than just your own inconvenience when the tank goes dry. I think prudence calls for a different approach to running on empty.

    I tried softening the tone of the above, failed miserably, then just left it in its original form. I have been guilty of doing what you did, so this is not a holier-than-thou item. Keep up the good work and keep the tank at least one quarter full.

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