A Simple Solution To A National Problem


   Back in 1948, Ann and I went to a small congregation in middle Florida to begin our ministry. After the “try out” sermon, I was to stay with the treasurer of the church and riding ‘shotgun’ in his 1935 Chevy doing a maximum of 35 MPH, he suddenly put the gear in neutral and we began to coast. Without explanation we were coming to a stop and he made a left hand turn onto a smaller road going north. He then shifted gears and gave the motor a shot and coasted on to his house.
His explanation was simple. “Did you see that big sign on the road,” he said. I nodded. I found out long ago that when I reached that sign at 35 MPH that I put it in neutral and coast all the way to my road. And with just a bit more gas, I could freewheel it home”
He went on to explain while gas was 19 cents a gallon, that he would save about 20% of gas and not having to brake for the turn, would also save the brake lining. He smiled and we got out of the car. I thought, “Woe is me, for if he is the treasurer, my salary will be rock bottom.” I was correct, it was. They decided on thirty dollars a week, and a deserted old barn like house as our residence.
During the Second World War, and rationing was in force, we told this story. Holding our shirt collar up we would say, “Smell that”. “What’s that”, would be the reply. “That called “My Sin”, and cost $40.00 dollars an ounce. “Well, smells this” another would enjoin. “What’s that,” we would inquire. That’s “The Heaven of Paris” at $80.00 dollars an ounce. I held up my shirt and said, “Smell this”, and they would say, “What’s that?” “It’s gasoline, you can’t even buy that stuff!”
The cry of politicians for the last 60 years can be summed up in a simple statement. “We must rid ourselves of our dependency on FOREIGN OIL” Every election year the cry has been the same, but little if any real progress has been made. So what is the individual answer to the problem? Oil is now selling above $1.25 a barrel. I remember when the price of a gallon of gas was $19 cents. Now it costs more than milk. What can an individual do to help save his own financial skin in this dilemma? Take matters into your own hands. Just determine to change your way of driving.
The treasurer’s name was Oswald Lawrence. At the time I thought he was a ‘nut’, but looking back on his actions, I have eventually become one like him. If I just SLOW DOWN, I CAN SAVE UP TO $50 cents on the gallon. It has everything to do with the way you think. Drive less often. Think slower. Drive slower. Save your brakes and the general wear on the car and engine. Relax, slow down. Cut your speed and let the world go by and you may end up saving gas and your life and those who ride with you.
National change starts with you – one driver at a time. Lunging off from a standing start just slings gas into the engine and puts it out in exhaust. Grandma was old but she lived a long time and learned how to use her time and energy in a productive way. Millions and millions of gas gallons could be saved each day if we are willing to change one of the most difficult habits in our life – RUSHING.
Wherever I went, I was always ‘on the run’. In hospital visits I would practically jog down the aisles from one bed to another. Fast wasn’t fast enough. Then something went wrong – bad wrong. I was rushed home and straight to the Ware County, hospital. I had what was then called “Yellow Jaundice.” I turned yellow from head to toe. Even my eyeballs turned yellow. I lay in the hospital two full weeks and spent the next two weeks lounging about the house. Thirty days – helpless. No car, no gas, no movement. Just lie down and rest.
While I am not good at math, I could figure in round numbers that if I had slowed down by 30%, and not had the yellow stuff, I would be about where I was at that time. When you abuse your body, the time will come when MOTHER NATURE will knock at your door. “Time to slow down” she would say.
A drastic turn began to alter my ways. Slow down, take your time, ease up, you can’t do it all in a day, and besides, when you die, they can put the inscription on your head stone – ‘HE DIDN’T FINISH HIS WORK”. Jesus said, “And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life.” Slow down man, we’ll all be home someday.

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